Air pollution and COVID-19: Is the connect worth its weight?Indian J Public Health. 2020 Jun; 64(Supplement):S132-S134.IJ
Primary route of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among humans is droplets and direct contact. Airborne transmission of this virus is not established conclusively and so is the role of airborne particulate matter. This commentary examines the existing evidence about the role of particulate matter pollutants in SARS-CoV-2 transmission. PM2.5and other small particulate matter have been shown to carry viable virus particles in the air and incriminated in spread of measles and SARS coronavirus. Empirical evidence has been provided regarding role of air pollution in accelerated transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Italy as well as Wuhan. Lockdown-related reduction in PM2.5levels in ambient air may have contributed to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2. High PM2.5levels in the past might have added to SARS-CoV-2 related mortality due to air pollution relate comorbidities. Post-lockdown increase in PM2.5levels may accelerate covid-19 transmission and can add to the burden of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.