In India’s metros, lockdown turns air purifier

Pollution levels in Delhi worst this year, air quality stays in very poor category. (Photo: Reuters). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Mar 27, 2020, India Today. The nationwide lockdown imposed to fight Covid-19 seems to have had at least one salutary effect already: on the air in India’s metro cities, India Today reported.

With most vehicles off the roads, flights grounded and all but essential businesses shut, people in some of the world’s biggest cities appear to be breathing air with relatively safer levels of pollutants, data from SAFAR and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) show.

Delhi’s noxious smog makes the news every winter but had a “satisfactory” air quality rating on Friday morning — just like Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Pune, according to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

India is under lockdown till April 14; its more than 700 patients are a relatively small caseload compared to those in countries like China, Italy, South Korea, the US and Iran — but experts have warned of a tidal wave of infections if tough steps aren’t taken.

With the lockdown in place, the WHO says India has a window of opportunity to expand testing, surveillance and quarantine facilities, and that its success in eliminating polio is an example of how it can work.

Inputs from Reuters

Share it

Exclusive: Beyond the Covid-19 world's coverage