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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 132-134

Air pollution and COVID-19: Is the connect worth its weight?

1 Director-Professor, Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India
2 Research Associate, Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Arun Kumar Sharma
Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences, Dilshad Garden, Delhi - 110 095
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_466_20

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Primary route of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among humans is droplets and direct contact. Airborne transmission of this virus is not established conclusively and so is the role of airborne particulate matter. This commentary examines the existing evidence about the role of particulate matter pollutants in SARS-CoV-2 transmission. PM2.5and other small particulate matter have been shown to carry viable virus particles in the air and incriminated in spread of measles and SARS coronavirus. Empirical evidence has been provided regarding role of air pollution in accelerated transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Italy as well as Wuhan. Lockdown-related reduction in PM2.5levels in ambient air may have contributed to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2. High PM2.5levels in the past might have added to SARS-CoV-2 related mortality due to air pollution relate comorbidities. Post-lockdown increase in PM2.5levels may accelerate covid-19 transmission and can add to the burden of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.

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