Air pollution raises risk of COVID-19 morbidity, mortality: Israeli report

Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) has published a report on Monday, citing direct link between exposure to air pollution and coronavirus morbidity and mortality.

The report was authored for the ministry by Hagai Levine, an epidemiologist and public health physician at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

According to the report, air pollution can cause comorbidities including respiratory and cardiovascular disease, which pose a risk of serious morbidity and mortality from COVID-19.

The report also addresses the importance of reducing air pollution as a means of alleviating the burdens that impair the efficiency of the health system.

Fewer pollution-related diseases would also mean medical personnel are more available to treat coronavirus patients.

Reducing air pollution can also have enormous economic significance, the report says, by raising the critical threshold of care capacity, so that less stringent measures can be taken, which would result in less economic harm.

Israel’s Minister of Environment Protection Gila Gamliel said that “we must work to reduce air pollution in population centers so that we can be better prepared for future epidemic outbreaks.”