Pollution from firecrackers and stubble burning, coupled with low temperatures, can lead to a surge in Covid infections, doctors have warned.(HT Photo)
Pollution from firecrackers and stubble burning, coupled with low temperatures, can lead to a surge in Covid infections, doctors have warned.(HT Photo)

Stay safe, chance of Covid surge during Diwali, winter: PGIMER

Exercise caution and follow safety protocols, says Dr Jagat Ram, director, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON NOV 09, 2020 10:27 PM IST

There’s a real chance of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the festive season, with Diwali and the winter months arriving soon and increased pollution levels because of stubble burning, cautions Dr Jagat Ram, director, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

In a note issued on Monday, Prof Jagat Ram, asked people to continue following the Covid protocols to ensure low infection rates. “Basis the studies on other respiratory viruses like SARS, influenza, etc. which show seasonal variance with cases spiking in winters, there is a possibility that the coronavirus infections might also rise in the coming months. Furthermore, low humidity promotes evaporation of viral particles and aerosol formations, which can increase the airborne spread of the disease.”

Prof Jagat Ram explained that pollution level rose in winter as the cold air was dense and moved sluggishly. “Particulate matter is lethal for respiratory health as it enters the alveoli in lungs and damages them, compromising respiratory health. Under these circumstances, if one contracts Covid, it’s likely to be more severe.

Alveoli are tiny air sacs in the lungs that take up the oxygen one breathes.

“With the festival of lights just being a few days away, people are already in the festive spirit and are far less vigilant. With mask use down and mobility up, we are definitely contributing to accelerate the rise in cases,” he added.

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