Does Air pollution increase COVID-19 threat?

Air pollution results in a significant increase in the concentration of Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5), which are tiny particles in the air. When these tiny particles, that are 1////30th the size of human hair, are inhaled, they travel all the way to the base of the lungs and enter the blood stream, resulting in widespread damage to all the major organs in the body.

"There is robust evidence to suggest that the rate of people getting infected with COVID-19 is much higher in areas where there are high levels of air pollution. There is a strong correlation between air pollution and severity of COVID-19 infection resulting in increase in mortality.

What you can do to stay protected?

  • Basic guidelines for protection from COVID-19 like regularly washing hands, maintaining physical distancing and wearing a mask at all times is of utmost importance. As advised by WHO, it is important to avoid three Cs: crowded places, closed settings and confined places with poor ventilation.
  • Wherever possible, limit going out. The elderly, those with chronic respiratory conditions, must stay indoors.
  • Wearing a properly fitted mask and social distancing is a must when out in the community.
  • Practicing hand hygiene is very important.
  • Avoid exercising outdoors as increase in inhalation of polluted air results in significant damage to the respiratory system. Adjust to the new normal and increase indoor physical activity.
  • Indoor air pollution must be kept in control. Avoid incense sticks and mosquito repellent sprays.
  • Say no to fire crackers as they only worsen air quality.
  • Do simple yogic practices like Simha Kriya, which can significantly enhance one's immunity. You can also do Pranayama (Breathing exercises) and mediation, which can calm the mind and body.
  • Consume a healthy diet as it helps to improve immunity.