Impact of Smog on Covid19 Spread

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Dr.Saher Fazal, Maria Khadija and Jibbran Hussain
Smog was firstly introduced in 1900as it comprises a mixture of smoke and fog which reduces visibility. The smog mostly persists in industrial areas and indicates air pollution. It is also referred to as hazy air which causes difficulty in breathing. When fossils fuels are burnt the atmospheric pollutant are released into the air. After sunlight encountered these particles and the heating process the smog is formed. The fine particles and ground level of ozone are released because of a photochemical reaction between sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and a volatile organic compound. The main source of the above-mentioned precursors is formed because of the release of these pollutants into the air by gasoline, industrialization which is governed by human activities. Smog is often caused in areas where traffic is high, high temperature, sunshine, and calm wind. They are many other factors as well but in winters the condition goes worst because of low wind speed which causes fog and smoke to stagnate and increases the level of pollution. The formation time of smog depends directly on the temperature. When warm air doesn’t rise and stays near ground temperature inversion occurs which causes smog to trap in calm wind and it stays for several days. The impact of smog is more severe when it occurs away from the source of pollutants because phytochemicals which cause the smog production in the atmosphere now release pollutants away due to wind because of traffic drift. so, it is dangerous for suburban, rural areas as well. It is evident from the components which form the smog is that it is very harmful. It is harmful to animals, plants, humans, and overall nature. Bronchial diseases cause the death of several people. It also causes rickets in people because the low level of UV radiation causes low production of vitamin  D which is vital for vitamin D production. The effect of smog is easily detected as it is associated with pulmonary diseases, irritation in the eyes. It also causes pain in chest pain. The major focus of this work is to provide a link between pollution due to smog at the rate of COVID19.The first cause reported abut covid19 is on 26 In February 2020 it was feared that mortality rate would be higher in polluted areas. But KPP reported the highest mortality rate which provides an explanation that not only pollution is not the main factor for this. In summer the concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere is very low. However, by June 13 the number of cases increases rapidly but by July the decline is seen. As a result, life moves to normal and it is believed that Pakistan had successfully tackled Covid19. However, it would be expected that the second wave of corona could be observed in I winter season. It is observed that the rate of infection and mortality is different from the first wave. Our prime minister addresses the people to follow SOPS properly and maintain social distancing in public gatherings as the number of cases is increasing day by day.According to the Center for disease prevention and control the major symptoms of coronavirus range from mild to severe which appears 2-14 days of exposure. People experience fever, headache, nausea, cough, shortening of breath, fatigue, diarrhea, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting. These all are not symptoms and CDC tried to update them on daily basis. According to Air quality guideline provided by WHO the concentration of PM2.5 in the air at10 µg/m3 is safe. But Pakistan ranked second most polluted country in IQ Air Visual 2019 World air quality report as annual average of PM2.5 of 65.81 µg/m3. With the approaching winter, the highest smog rate is expected due to industrial and vehicle emission, fuel-burning for space heating which are the result of human activities. Air pollution does not affect immunity but also has a strong association with pulmonary diseases. The presence of nitrogen dioxide and PM in the air increases the susceptibility of the virus by increasing the vector receptor 100 folds. So, in the cities, Peshawar and Rawalpindi with higher pollution rates the people are more susceptible to the virus due to weakened immune defense and damage the lungs. The impaired tissue defenses occur because of chronic lung exposure to nitrogen dioxide which causes further pulmonary damage in COVID19 patients which further complicates the situation. As prevention is better than cure so Individually everyone needs to follow SOPS seriously. The government needs to provide a proper disposal plan for industrial effluent. The government introduced an electrical vehicle policy in December 2019 to combat the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases in Pakistan. For this government introduced the program of clean and green Pakistan which is the better initiative to restore nature. So strict implementation of SOPS is required to prevent the current disease situation and maintain proper distancing at a public gathering.