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Smog And Pandemic – India To Face Double Threat This Winter

News Link: Smog And Pandemic – India To Face Double Threat This Winter

A familiar scene is taking place in northern India. Vast fields burn, flames covering bare stalks of already-harvested crops. Cloud-like smoke travels across state borders. In towns and cities, the air is thick with a yellow haze.

Stubble burning, the practice of intentionally setting fire to cultivated fields to prepare the land for its next crop. It is one of the chief drivers of India’s so-called annual pollution season, which begins each winter.

It is especially bad in cities like the capital New Delhi, where smog from the burning crop fields, vehicular smoke, power plants, construction sites. In Addition, smoke from Diwali firecrackers combines to create a toxic cloud that lingers until spring.

Authorities have been trying for years to end this serious public health risk. But there’s a new urgency this year, with fears that pollution could add the danger of Covid-19.

The coronavirus outbreak in India has infected nearly 7.6 million people and killed more than 115,000 – as per the country’s Health Ministry. Earlier, India went into a month-long nationwide total lockdown in an attempt to stop the virus; but with little success. Now, India has the second-highest number of infections globally, after the United States, and the third-highest number of deaths.

Experts and politicians now worry that the arrival of the pollution season could make a double threat. Also, this will put people at higher risk of infection while increasing the job of public health services.

“The mix of air pollution along with Covid-19, and especially as this is going to happen during the winter months. This is something we need to be really concerned about and take the required action. The only way that we don’t let a huge spike occur in the number of cases,” said Dr. Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)

Compiled by – MK (Editor)

Read more news at Environment Segment

News Link: Smog And Pandemic – India To Face Double Threat This Winter

SourceCNN

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