Data | Pollution levels decline in many Indian cities due to COVID-19 lockdown

The drop coincides with decreased public mobility

Due to the COVID-19-related lockdown, global CO2 emissions in 2020 have dropped to levels last seen in 2006. Particulate matter pollution levels in select Indian cities exhibit a similar decline. The drop coincides with decreased public mobility in India following the lockdown.

COVID-19 | State-wise tracker for coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates

However, the recent relaxations have led to a significant increase in activity.

Pollution drops across cities

The graphs show daily PM2.5 levels between April 1 and May 24 in 2019 and 2020 . Except Mumbai, other cities recorded significantly low levels of particulate matter pollution in 2020 compared to 2019 on many days during this period.

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image/svg+xml

0 20 40 60

0 20 40 60

60 40 20 0 Apr. 13 Apr. 28 May 13

0 20 40

40 20 0 Apr. 13 Apr. 28 May 13

0 100 200 300

300 200 100 0 Apr. 13 Apr. 28 May 13

0 100 200

200 100 0 Apr. 13 Apr. 28 May 13

0 20 40 60 80

0 20 40 60 80

80 60 40 20 0 Apr. 13 Apr. 28 May 13

0 50 100 150

150 100 50 0 Apr. 13 Apr. 28 May 13 Delhi Chennai Bengaluru Hyderabad Mumbai Ahmedabad

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Also read: Delhi pollution halved during first phase of lockdown: CPCB

Mobility trends

The chart shows the increase or decrease in visits and length of stay at places in India compared to a baseline value (left axis). The baseline is the median value for the corresponding day of the week during the 5-week period (January 3–February 6).

The chart uses anonymised location data from phones collated by Google. It also shows the cumulative COVID-19 cases in India (dotted line, right axis).

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image/svg+xml Baseline

75 50 25 0 +50 -50 -100 Feb. 23 Mar. 22 Apr. 19 May 16

Residential

Cases (in thousands)

Grocery & pharmacy

Retail & recreation

Parks

Workplaces

Lately, due to relaxations, visits to grocery & pharmacy stores, workplaces and transit stations have increased significantly. Parks and retail and recreational outlets have continued to remain inaccessible as most of them are still shut.

Notably, the relaxations have come amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

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