Air pollution down by nearly one-third in 29 metropolitan areas of Turkey, according to official data
Air pollution in major Turkish cities has fallen significantly due to reduced activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Levels of airborne particulate matter in 29 metropolitan areas of Turkey have dropped 32%, according to data provided by air quality measurement stations and municipalities.
The drop came about due to reduced industrial production and transportation owing to the measures against coronavirus implemented across Turkey.
The highest decline 60% was seen in Kahramanmaras, followed by Sanliurfa (58%), Hatay (55%), Van (53%), Erzurum (51%), and Eskisehir (51%).
There was a 27% drop in air pollution in the capital Ankara and 11% in the largest city Istanbul.
Huseyin Toros, an expert in atmospheric science and air quality at Istanbul Technical University, said the world needs to focus on ensuring long-term reduction in air pollution levels.
“We need global efforts to raise awareness about how air pollution harms human health and the environment, and to ensure good air quality after the pandemic is over,” he told Anadolu Agency.
Pointing out that COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory disease, Toros said improved air quality can help the world win the fight against the novel coronavirus.
In an earlier interview with Anadolu Agency, he had said that the coronavirus lockdown was pushing the world towards the “emission reduction targeted in international climate agreements such as the Paris Agreement.”
“So, the outbreak has forced us to reduce emissions to a point where we may be able to meet the targets that we normally would not,” Toros said.
Turkey has recorded nearly 91,000 COVID-19 cases so far, with the death toll at 2,140 and over 13,400 recoveries.
The novel coronavirus has spread to 185 countries and regions since emerging in China last December, with the U.S. and Europe being the hardest-hit areas in the world.
Nearly 2.5 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll over 171,000 and recoveries near 660,000, according to data compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.