The Centre for Atmospheric Research, National Space Research and Development Agency warns that poor air quality could lead to transmission of COVID-19 and respiratory health complications resulting in death. CAR-NASRDA
Space Lab Coordinator of CAR, Dr. Dan Oko, gave the warning on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
Oko said that there was serious need for the government and citizens to be aware of the quality of air in the environment.
He explained that air quality monitoring was the ability to check the quality of air humans breathe within their environment using an Air Quality sensor.
According to him, there is the volume of particulate matters in the atmosphere which can be hazardous to humans, hence the need to issue warnings on air quality.
“COVID-19 is a result of viruses understood to be propagated through the atmosphere and we also have dust particles that travel in the air.
“COVID-19 virus particles are definitely adding to the existing particles in the atmosphere and the virus can also be transmitted to humans from an infected environment.
“There is an ongoing research on how the volume of particles in the air contributes to the number of COVID-19 cases and we see a relatively positive connection between the two.
“There are long term health effects of poor air quality that affects the respiratory system and they require time to metamorphose to illnesses that can lead to death,’’ Oko said.
The coordinator added that people should always wear their face masks to avoid being infected in an already contaminated environment.
He also said that the centre was able to establish nine air quality sensors across the country.
Oko said some of the nine locations include the Centre for Atmospheric Research Complex, Anyigba, Kogi State; Bayero University, Kano; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State; and Osun State University Campus, Osogbo, among others.
He disclosed that measures were in place to site an air quality sensor in University of Maiduguri to monitor the quality of air within the North East part of the country.
He, however, decried that the number of air quality sensors available in different locations in the country was not enough to monitor air quality at closer range.
According to him, if each state of the country can have two air quality sensors, it can help for better interpolation and sending of warnings on air quality.
Oko added that more collaborations and government’s effort would ensure that the air quality sensors were strategically sited to aid research and improve human health.