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Delhi Gasps For Air Post Diwali As Pollution Reaches New High; N95 Masks May Help Against Covid And Pollution

Delhi Gasps For Air Post Diwali As Pollution Reaches New High; N95 Masks May Help Against Covid And Pollution

The air quality of Delhi has deteriorated post-Diwali and it can have worse outcomes with COVID-19 still on the loose. Experts believe that N95 Masks are better for people to protect themselves against COVID and high pollution levels.

Written by Arushi Bidhuri |Updated : November 8, 2021 10:51 AM IST

A blanket of smog has yet again covered the national capital post-Diwali celebrations. Delhi woke up to 'hazardous' air pollution levels on Friday despite a firework ban during India's annual Hindu festival of lights. The System of Air Quality & Weather Forecasting & Research in Delhi recorded 533 air quality levels on Saturday morning (SAFAR). Following the Diwali festival, the air quality in the national capital deteriorated dramatically, reaching the 'hazardous' category on Friday morning.

While the air quality in Delhi severely dropped post-Diwali, it showed a slight improvement later on Saturday due to higher wind speed but it still poses a threat as the AQI level was still over 400.

High Pollution Levels Could Lead To Worse COVID-19 Outcome

Studies have shown that high air pollution levels can worsen COVID-19 outcomes and lead to severe illness, even increasing death among patients. According to researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the greater the air pollution index, the more it was linked to COVID-19-related negative health outcomes. The most plausible rationale is that these pollutants increase respiratory stress, making people more vulnerable to COVID-19-related disease.

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Switch To N95 Masks For Higher Protection Against COVID And Pollution

Speaking to TOI, Dr Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director and Senior Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, Apollo Hospitals said that a fabric mask is not ideal from a pollution standpoint, and many people who are aware of this have been wearing an N95 mask at this time. If you have a history of allergies, asthma, bronchitis, or any other respiratory problem, you should use an N95 mask.

Cloth masks are anyway not tested or regulated, and each type of cloth you use has a different type of filtration. So, experts do not prefer a cloth mask over N95 masks. Studies have shown that N95/KN95 is preferred to have the maximum amount of protection and filtration.

Also, the chief of Infectious Diseases at the University of Maryland Dr Faheem Younus shared a few months ago that one should try and use N95 or KN95 masks against COVID-19, which is predominantly transmitted through the air. He went on to say that buying two N95 or KN95 masks is the best way to deal with an airborne infection. "You can use one of the masks on one day and leave the other in a paper bag for the next day," wrote Dr Faheem Younus.

Preliminary studies suggest that N95 masks are far superior to cloth masks when it comes to fighting airborne illnesses. Personal protection equipment such as N95 respirators and surgical masks are used to protect the wearer from airborne particles and fluids contaminating the face.

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