Air pollution may lead to increased risk of developing Covid-19: Study
Long-term exposure to air pollution may lead to an increased risk of developing the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) among people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19, according to a recent study. Though the research was conducted in Spain, its results have been published at a time when several cities in India are in the grip of severe air pollution.
For the exercise, the researchers tested 9605 participants, of whom 481 (or 5 per cent) were Covid-19 positive. The participants were measured for a series of virus-specific antibodies, with information already available to the researchers on the long-term exposure of such individuals to air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), small particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon and ozone.
For a number of volunteers within the total study population, the team was able to establish an association between higher exposure to NO2/PM2.5 and the viral illness, particularly for severe cases that resulted in the patient being hospitalised and, in some cases, being sent to intensive care.
In particular, the association with PM2.5 was found to be stronger among men aged 60 and above, as well as people living in socio-economically deprived areas, the researchers said.
Speaking on the study, Manolis Kogevinas, its lead author, said, “These results are in line with the association between air pollution and hospitalisation described for other respiratory diseases, including pneumonia and influenza. We have provided the strongest evidence globally on the association of ambient air pollution and Covid-19.”
The results of the study were published in the journal Environment Health Perspectives on Wednesday. These provide further evidence on the health benefits of reducing air pollution, and highlight the influence of environmental factors on infectious diseases, the researchers said.
(With PTI inputs)
Israeli police faced off with Palestinians holed up inside Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque on Sunday as hundreds of Jews visited the holy compound ahead of a contentious Jewish nationalist march through the heart of the Old City. Palestinian factions have warned that the flag-waving parade through the city's Muslim quarter could re-ignite their decades-old conflict with Israelis. Tensions have been rising in the city for weeks. Other Jews were later seen holding up Israeli flags.
Rescuers in Indonesia were searching for 25 people who were missing after a cargo boat sank in the Makassar Strait in South Sulawesi province, officials said Sunday. Like many Indonesians, Djunaidi, the head of the provincial search and rescue agency goes by only one name. Also read: US intel helped Ukraine locate and sink Russian warship: Report Seventeen people were later rescued, including some by two tugboats that were at sea at the time of the incident.
Ever since the Kremlin invaded Ukraine, there have been fears that Russian president Vladimir Putin may resort to using nuclear weapons in the war-torn country. In April, US' Central Intelligence Agency director William Burns had also warned that Russia's setbacks in its invasion of Ukraine could lead Putin to resort to using a "tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon". The ongoing war in Ukraine is now in its fourth month.
Shanghai announced on Sunday further steps towards return to normal life and lifting a two-month Covid lockdown this week, while Beijing reopened parts of its public transport, some malls, gyms and other venues as infections stabilised. Meanwhile in North Korea, officials observed that “the situation is improving” in the country, hinting at a softening of its “stringent” curbs. Here are top 8 updates on Global Covid-19 situation 1.
What we know The aircraft bearing call-sign 9 NAET had flown from Pokhara to Jomsom at 9:55 AM and went out of contact after reaching the Lete area of Mustang. As per the State TV, the missing aircraft was hosting 4 Indians among others. As per the police officials, the aircraft has been suspected to have crashed in the "Titi" area of Lete in Mustang District.