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Silver lining: Coronavirus lockdown brings down air pollution levels in several cities, especially Delhi

The better AQI is no doubt due to the lack of vehicles on the roads because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

The Coronavirus pandemic has effected people physically as well as mentally all across the globe. While India battles the deadly virus head-on by putting the entire country under 21-day lockdown, some positive effects of minimal human interference could already be felt in many parts of the country, especially Delhi, during the earlier one-day ‘Janta Curfew’ lockdown on Sunday.

In India, several cities otherwise known to record high pollution levels have recorded an improvement in air quality on March 22 (Sunday). Delhi especially, which tops the world in air pollution, recorded the average AQI between March 13 and 22 as 161.4 compared to 190.5 last year. Data from SAFAR suggested that the overall AQI score of Delhi on March 25 stood at a satisfactory level. This year Delhi has had only moderate air quality days during the period but last year there were 4 poor air days.

According to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research), AQI between the range of 51 and 100 is considered as ‘satisfactory’ or ‘very good‘, 101-200 is ‘moderate‘, 201-300 falls under the category of ‘poor‘. While 300-400 is considered as ‘very poor‘, levels between 401-500 fall under the ‘hazardous‘ category. Delhiites have survived hazardous and very poor category many times in the recent past when pollution hit the city too hard.

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It is believed that strict travel restrictions and shutting down of all the non-essential services have brought an enormous decline in the levels of nitrogen oxide, a pollutant emitted generally by motor vehicles, in the city.

Netizens couldn’t stop talking about this development as it is very rare when we see Delhi’s air in the satisfactory range.

The better AQI is no doubt due to the lack of vehicles on the roads because of the lockdown caused by by coronavirus outbreak.

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