Decreased pollution levels due to less vehicular movement and industrial activity is one of the factors which has slowed the spread of coronavirus, said Dr Arvind Kumar, Chairperson, Centre for Chest Surgery, Sir Gangaram Hospital.
"In the long run as a direct consequence (of lockdown) decrease of pollution is one of the factors which has slowed down the spread of the virus," said Dr Kumar.
"The deaths occurring from COVID-19 across the globe showed that people with pre-existing diseases have higher mortality. So pollution is causing such ailments and such ailments are contributing to COVID infection," he added.
He said that the link between air pollution and an increase in lung diseases, hypertension, paralysis and many such ailments have already been established in various studies.
"Air pollution leads to higher incidents of lung diseases. Coronavirus is just an addition in the list of infections which people suffering from chest diseases are prone to," Dr Kumar said.
Central Pollution Control Board has observed satisfactory reduction of PM 2.5 and PM 10 in New Delhi, which is one of the worst-hit areas due to pollution.
Dr Kumar said, "The admission due to heart disease, paralysis, COPD, Asthma, all the acute emergencies have reduced by at least 30 to 40 pc. It is an established fact that relationship directly between higher 2.5 and incidents of cardiac arrests. Every time there is an increase in 10mg in PM 2.5 there is a consequential increase in cardiac mortality."
According to WHO, 4.2 million deaths every year is caused as a result of exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution. It also says that 25 pc of all heart disease deaths are attributable to air pollution. Air pollution causes 2.4 million deaths due to heart disease every year.
The country will soon enter into its third phase of extended lockdown from May 4 which is to continue for another two weeks. However, the restrictions are to be depended as per red, orange and green zones.
The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in India rose to 39,980 including 28,046 active cases, 10,633 cured/discharged/migrated and 1301 deaths, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Sunday.