The authorities in India’s capital have introduced a campaign to cut air pollution in time for winter. Polluted air could make the coronavirus pandemic more virulent.
Studies have suggested that high levels of air pollution can make viral infections more dangerous, writes an article in the New York Times. New Delhi, which has now introduced a campaign to curb air pollution, has had around 5,500 deaths attributed to coronavirus.
The campaign is launching ahead of winter, when pollution in the Indian capital soars. Vehicle and industrial emissions, pollutants from firecrackers at festivals and construction dust all increase during the cold season.
Anumita Roychowdhury, an air pollution expert and the executive director at the New Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment, told the New York Times that causes of the capital’s poor air quality were well known, as were the actions needed to combat it. “It isn’t rocket science,” she said.
New Delhi has initiated anti-pollution campaigns before, including limiting the numbers of cars on the road and stopping construction activity. Due to neighbouring state government’s lack of cooperation, these campaigns had little effect, says the newspaper.
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