Delhi: Fought off Covid-19? Pollution may not let you breathe easy | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: Post-Covid complications are likely to increase with rise in pollution levels. City hospitals say they are already seeing patients who had recovered from Covid-19 complaining about breathing difficulty.
Many of them have pre-existing respiratory problems, for example asthma, bronchitis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), they add.
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“Nearly 15% of all Covid-19 patients develop moderate to severe symptoms. Lung is one of the main organs that is affected and even after the infection subsides, damage caused to the organ remains. Exposure to pollutants prolongs the healing process,” Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, internal medicine at Apollo hospital said.
Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital and several private hospitals have started post-Covid clinics to deal with such complications.
Dr Rommel Tickoo, associate director, department of medicine at Max hospital, said asthma and COPD patients have started reporting with exacerbation of symptoms. The air pollution peaks in Delhi and surrounding regions every winter.
Dr Arunesh Kumar, senior consultant and head, respiratory medicine and pulmonology in Paras Hospital, said, “We are seeing a surge in patients with worsening chest symptoms coming to the pulmonology OPD. It is important to seek medical advice if you notice worsening of chest symptoms. Get your pneumonia and flu vaccine if you have been advised to have one this winter.”
He added, “Wearing a face mask is the single most effective way of keeping one safe from Covid-19 as well as pollution this winter. Avoiding strenuous outdoor exercise during peak pollution hours will also be beneficial. For people with chronic lung diseases, it is important to be compliant to their treatment.”
Delhi Medical Association in collaboration with IMA branches and social organisations has started a mass campaign to promote wearing of masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Dr Harish Gupta, convener of the programme, said face masks could also help in reducing the effect of pollution.

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