Special Issue on COVID-19 Aerosol Drivers, Impacts and Mitigation (XIII)

Anubha Goel This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2, Pallavi Saxena3, Saurabh Sonwani4, Shubham Rathi1, Ananya Srivastava5, Akash Kumar Bharti6, Supreme Jain1, Shubhanshi Singh1, Anuradha Shukla7, Anju Srivastava8

1 Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, India
2 Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, India
3 Department of Environmental Sciences, Hindu College, University of Delhi, University Enclave, Delhi 110007, India
4 Department of Environmental Studies, Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, New Delhi 110002, India
5 Department of Economics, Hindu College, University of Delhi, University Enclave, Delhi 110007, India
6 Department of Mathematics, Hindu College, University of Delhi University Enclave, Delhi 110007, India
7 Transport Planning and Environment Division, CSIR-Central Road Research Institute, Delhi-Mathura Road, New Delhi 110025, India
8 Department of Chemistry, Hindu College, University of Delhi, University Enclave, Delhi 110007, India

Received: July 29, 2020
Revised: December 30, 2020
Accepted: December 30, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200460  

Cite this article:

Goel, A., Saxena, P., Sonwani, S., Rathi, S., Srivastava, A., Bharti, A.K., Jain, S., Singh, S., Shukla, A., Srivastava, A. (2021). Health Benefits Due to Reduction in Respirable Particulates during COVID-19 Lockdown in India. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200460. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200460


  • During the COVID-19 lockdown, PM2.5 levels decreased in some Indian cities.
  • Compared with those before lockdown, lockdown Phase 1 had greater health benefits.
  • In Phase 1, tracheobronchial particle deposition lowered by 30.14%.
  • In Phase 1, mortality lowered by 29.85 deaths per 100,000 persons.
  • In Phase 1, Delhi-NCR and Uttar Pradesh cities has 44.6%–58.5% lower PM2.5 levels.


To control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Government of India imposed various phases of lockdown starting from the third week of March 2020. Improvement in city air quality has emerged as a benefit of this lockdown in India. The objective of this paper is to quantify the health benefits due to this lockdown. PM2.5 concentrations in nonattainment cities (NACs) in Uttar Pradesh and the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) in North India were studied. Data from prelockdown and the various lockdown phases were compared, with 2019 as a benchmark. Compared with those in 2019, the PM2.5 concentrations during lockdown Phase 1 were approximately 44.6% lower for cities in Uttar Pradesh and approximately 58.5% lower for the Delhi-NCR. The health impacts of particle inhalation were quantified using the multiple-path particle dosimetry and AirQ+ models, which revealed that the most considerable improvement was during lockdown Phase 1. Among the prelockdown and lockdown phases, Phase 1 exhibited the minimum PM2.5 concentration and thus the greatest health benefits. For the selected cities, the concentration of particle deposition in the tracheobronchial region of human lungs showed its maximum reduction during lockdown Phase 1(30.14%). Furthermore, the results highlighted a decrease of 29.85 deaths per 100,000 persons during lockdown Phase 1, primarily due to the reduction in PM2.5 concentrations. This quantification of the health benefits due to a decrease in PM2.5 may help policymakers implement suitable control measures, especially for NACs, where the respirable particulate matter concentrations remain very high.

Keywords: PM2.5, Nonattainment city, AirQ+, COVID-19, Health benefit quantification

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