Delhi, Mumbai, Seoul and Wuhan see record-breaking clear skies as Covid-19 lockdowns subdue air pollution

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Air pollution has reduced dramatically in India as a result of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, and residents in northern India say they can see the snow-capped Himalayas 200 kilometres away for the first time in 30 years. Image: SBS Hindi The irony. A disease that attacks the lungs, which has killed more than 165,000 people since the beginning of the year, might actually be prolonging some lives by reducing air pollution. The world’s most polluted cities, most of which are in Asia, are experiencing record-breaking declines in smog as coronavirus-induced lockdowns curtail big sources of air pollution such as road traffic, heavy industry and the burning of fossil fuels. Delhi, the world’s smoggiest city, saw levels of PM2.5, fine particulate matter than penetrates deep into the lungs, drop by 60 per cent in the three-week period from 23 March to 13 April 2020 compared to the 2019 average, according to the Covid-19 Air Quality Report from IQAir AirVisual , a firm that measures air quality around the world. Air pollution in Delhi, 2016-2020. Blue shaded area shows pollution during lockdown, 23 March – 13 April 2020. The Indian capital’s air was, on average, almost 10 times above the PM2.5 level […]

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