Covid-19 and Environment Travel Advisory for India

A pollution scene in India's capital New Delhi which is the most polluted national capital in the world. Photo: Rakesh Raman / RMN News Service
A pollution scene in India’s capital New Delhi which is the most polluted national capital in the world. Photo: Rakesh Raman / RMN News Service

Covid-19 and Environment Travel Advisory for India

By RMN News Service

As lethal air pollution in India is exacerbating the Covid-19 lethality, here’s a travel advisory for foreigners. 

Air pollution is likely to reduce the life expectancy of about 40% of Indians by more than nine years, according to a report released by a U.S. research group on September 1, 2021. 

More than 480 million people living in the vast swathes of central, eastern and northern India, including New Delhi, endure significantly high pollution levels, said the report prepared by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). 

As pollution levels remain dangerously high throughout the year in India, all travelers including business executives, tourists, and diplomats need to exercise utmost caution while planning to visit India – particularly India’s capital New Delhi.

Moreover, companies and investors must not come to Delhi for setting up their businesses or for trade conferences as pollution can harm them as well as their families. Foreigners, who have come to stay in India for their work, should preferably go back to their countries. Or, at least, they should not keep their children with them because Delhi’s pollution is very harmful for children.

The lethal air pollution in India is also exacerbating the Covid-19 lethality. A new report by researchers from Imperial College London, commissioned by the Mayor Sadiq Khan, has found a  link between a person’s exposure to air pollution and the severity with which they will experience the effects of Covid-19.   

There is growing evidence linking exposure to air pollution with the worst effects of Covid-19 and this new review  led by  Imperial’s Environmental Research Group and commissioned through Imperial Projects, provides a comprehensive overview of  the best  recent  evidence and shows some indication that past exposure to toxic air leads to more severe cases of Covid-19.

Another study reveals a correlation between exposure to air pollution and Covid-19 mortality. It says that a small increase in long-term exposure to PM2.5 leads to a large increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) death rate, with the magnitude of increase 20 times than that observed for PM2.5 and all-cause mortality.

The study – done by the researchers of the Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA – underscores the importance of continuing to enforce existing air pollution regulations to protect human health both during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

The study found that an increase of only 1 μg/m3 in PM2.5 is associated with a 15% increase in the Covid-19 death rate. It adds that the majority of the pre-existing conditions that increase the risk of death for Covid-19 are the same diseases that are affected by long-term exposure to air pollution.

The Delhi Government, the Indian Government, and the pollution-control agencies are not taking proper steps to control pollution because most politicians and bureaucrats in India are uneducated, careless, and corrupt.

The extreme pollution in Delhi is usually compared to the poisonous gas chambers used by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust for the genocide of millions of European Jews.

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