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Dhaka’s falling air quality triggers worsening Covid-19 concern

  • Published at 05:46 pm November 22nd, 2020
dhaka Air_Pollution-Mehedi-Hasan
Air pollution in Dhaka Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka had an AQI score of 161 at 5:19pm and the air was classified as ‘unhealthy’

Dhaka’s air ranked fourth-worst in the Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday morning amid rising fears that the country could be hit by a second-wave of Covid-19.

Deteriorating air quality can pose a big challenge to the country’s fight to keep its people safe from Covid-19.

Dhaka had an AQI score of 161 at 5:19pm and the air was classified as “unhealthy.”

When the AQI value is between 151 and 200, everyone may begin to experience health effects while members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.

According to the AQI Index, Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek, India’s Delhi and Mumbai occupied the top three spots.

The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.

Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution. Its air quality usually improves during monsoon. Bangladesh air world's worst in 2019. 

Bangladesh has been named the world's most polluted country for PM2. 5 exposure while Dhaka has emerged as the second most polluted city in the 2019 World Air Quality Report.

The smoke emitted from the brick kilns, which have been set up in many areas illegally, are blamed as one of the main causes of air pollution.

Globally, nine out of every ten people breathe unclean air, and air pollution causes an estimated seven million premature deaths every year, predominantly in low- and middle-income countries, according to the UN.

Second wave of Covid-19

The government has been repeatedly warning of a second wave of the virus and urging people to follow proper health guidelines. 

Breathing in polluted air can damage the lungs and could potentially push up the odds of dying from coronavirus.

As of Sunday, Bangladesh’s coronavirus caseload stands at 447,341 with 6,388 fatalities – a death rate of 1.43%. So far, 362,428 patients – 81.02% – have recovered.

Globally, confirmed coronavirus cases reached 58,095,000 on Sunday with 138,000 deaths, according to worldometer.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the world “to pay far greater attention to air pollution which also increases the risks associated with Covid-19.”