Air quality improvement in the last month due to the coronavirus lockdown has resulted in 11,000 fewer deaths because of pollution in the UK and Europe, revealed a study.
According to a study published by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), drastic fall in traffic and industrial emissions have also led to 1.3 million fewer days of work absence, at least 6,000 fewer children having asthma attacks, 1,900 avoided hospital emergency room visits and 600 fewer preterm births.
Even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the globe taking over 220,000 lives ever since its outbreak, the report says, it has also given us a glimpse into a future with cleaner, healthier environment if the world shifts to renewable sources of energy and away from fossil fuels.
For the findings, the report utilised detailed air quality statistical modeling to isolate the effects of weather conditions and changes in emissions, showing larger reductions in particulate matter levels than reported previously, while attributing the changes to the interventions against Covid-19.
If you are to compare the levels of nitrogen dioxide this year with the same period last year, it has fallen by 40 per cent, while particulate matter (PM2.5) is down by 10 per cent, the report said. The report attributes this effect to a decline in power generation from coal and oil consumption as both these components “are the main sources of NO2 pollution and key sources of particulate matter pollution across Europe”.
The worst-affected countries in the world after US in terms of infections are Spain (2,36,899), Italy (2,03,591), France (1,66,543) and United Kingdom (1,66,441).