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Pollution, poor air increase severity of COVID-19 cases, confirms WHO


Mumbai, 22nd April 2020: The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised the link between poor air quality and severity of the current Coronavirus pandemic, while talking to a news publication.

Dr. Maria Neira, Director, Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health Department (PHE) at the WHO, confirmed this link to the BBC News in an interview. She said that countries with high pollution levels, like those in Latin America, Africa and Asia, need to ramp up their CODID-19 operations. People in these countries typically suffer from pollution-related conditions and have developed a severe form of the COVID-19 disease.

“We will map the most polluted cities based on our database to support national authorities in these regions so that they can prepare their epidemic response plan accordingly,” Dr Neira said.

While medical professionals say that it’s still too early to have a conclusive link, the statement matches many research items imploring the need to examine air quality with the current COVID-19 crisis.

“Air quality, especially indoor air quality, governs our risk levels for the Coronavirus. A poor air quality (Air Quality Index PM 2.5) would heighten existing difficulties, especially for COVID positive cases. Sanitised, ventilated spaces also add to safe living conditions for everyone, whether at homes or outside”, explained Mansoor Ali, Research Analyst and Indoor Air Quality Expert and founder of AMFAH India.

Ali, the founder of AMFAH India, holds 20 years of industry experience in air treatment products. He is one of the first movers in the Air Treatment category and had predicted the global Coronavirus pandemic back in February, on his Twitter handle.

Apart from this link, Ali has been expressing the importance of maintaining ideal relative humidity (RH) levels at 40-60 RH to prevent transmission of the virus and deactivate surface-based contamination.

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