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Table of Contents
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 667-669

Social lockdown and ecological intervention for the prevention of the community spread of COVID-19


1 Department of Zoology, Redox Regulation Laboratory, College of Basic Science and Humanities, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
2 Department of Philosophy, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Srirama Chandra Bhanja Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, Odisha, India

Date of Submission21-Jun-2020
Date of Decision23-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication19-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Biswaranjan Paital
Department of Zoology, Redox Regulation Laboratory, College of Basic Science and Humanities, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar - 751 003, Odisha
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/CRST.CRST_222_20

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How to cite this article:
Paital B, Das K, Behera TR. Social lockdown and ecological intervention for the prevention of the community spread of COVID-19. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:667-9

How to cite this URL:
Paital B, Das K, Behera TR. Social lockdown and ecological intervention for the prevention of the community spread of COVID-19. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 30];3:667-9. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2020/3/3/667/295550



As of June 25, 2020, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has infected 9,535,219 people across 216 countries, of which 485,187 have died and 5,180,287 have recovered. Being the largest pandemic of the modern world,[1] it has brought the world to a standstill and provoked the scientific community to develop ways and means to combat COVID-19.[2] As a result, as many as 25,957; 6,640,000,000; and 1,190,000 articles or search hits are available as on June 21, 2020, for “COVID-19” on PubMed,[3] in Google's search engine,[4] and Google Scholar,[5] respectively.

The various articles published on COVID-19 have covered multiple aspects of this disease, including its environmental/economic/social effects, molecular diagnostics,[6] RNA sequence of SARS-CoV-2, treatment schedule,[7],[8] drug repurposing,[9] ongoing trials,[10],[11] failure of specific medicines and vaccines against COVID-19, and finally, the correlation between COVID-19 and SARS and/or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). This suggests that the effects of COVID-19 are very widespread, perhaps even more than those of the World Wars.[12] However, a comprehensive article or book or series discussing all the above aspects of COVID-19 is the need of the hour. For example, in the article by Pande et al.,[12] the etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, prognosis, clinical symptoms and complications, and the current management strategies for COVID-19 have been described. However, information pertaining to the environmental aspects of COVID-19 is lacking in this and other similar reviews.[13] The clinical aspects of a pandemic or an endemic disease always have an intricate relation with the environment when the pathogen is environmentally modulated, as is the case with SARS-CoV-2. It has a crisscross relation with the environmental factors, especially the temperature and air. Therefore, its airborne transmission, although disproved, is still debatable.[14],[15] COVID-19 is undoubtedly nurturing and healing Mother Nature[15] via the imposed lockdowns.[16] However, it has also been aggravated in terms of the severity of symptoms in the infected patients via air pollution (AP), one of the key environmental components.[16],[17] These intricacies have not been addressed in any of the clinical reviews that cover every other aspect of COVID-19.[13] Inclusion of this information would make the reviews more comprehensive.

Many countries had witnessed heavy AP, especially high levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions and a high load of particulate matter (PM) during the pre-COVID-19 period. However, as a result of the lockdowns, several countries have experienced a reduction in fossil fuel combustion, thus becoming free from the clutches of AP. Nevertheless, the rate of infection and severity of the disease were found to be more in places where the AP was higher,[17] thus highlighting the association between AP and COVID-19. AP causes lung diseases such as the common cold; cough; sneezing; and breathing issues including bronchitis, asthma, and many other respiratory syndromes. COVID-19 also causes similar clinical symptoms and is primarily a respiratory disorder. This could probably be the reason for the intricate relationship between COVID-19 and AP.[18]

The molecular events leading to an AP-induced increase in the severity of COVID-19 have been extensively studied.[16],[17] Experimental approaches indicate that aerosols and PM, two of the important air pollutants, can carry SARS-CoV-2 with them for a certain period of time, but airborne transmission of the virus has not yet been reported. Moreover, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which acts as the receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and is present primarily on the surface of the human respiratory epithelial cells, gets upregulated in the presence of NO2 emissions and PM2.5. Similar situations were also reported during the SARS and MERS epidemics. Therefore, a higher expression of ACE2 in the respiratory epithelial cells could be one of the potential reasons for the high severity of COVID-19 in places with increased AP. Hence, all the nations where the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is unexpectedly high could consider correlating the number of cases with the degree of AP. Moreover, if a positive correlation is observed between them, environmental interventions could help to reduce the risk of COVID-19. In conclusion, articles on COVID-19 should also highlight the impact of the environmental factors on the spread of the disease, as shown in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: A comprehensive picture of COVID-19 to provide a clear idea about the pandemic to the general readership. COVID-19: Coronavirus disease 2019; SARS-CoV-2: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2

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Acknowledgements

Schemes (number ECR/2016/001984 by SERB, DST, Government of India and 1188/ST, Bhubaneswar, dated March 01, 2017, ST-(Bio)-02/2017 and DST, Government of Odisha, India) to Biswaranjan Paital are acknowledged. Funding to Kabita Das (36 Seed/2019/Philosophy-1, letter number 941/69/OSHEC/2019 dated November 22, 2019) from the Department of Higher Education, Government of Odisha, under the Odisha University Research and Innovation Incentivization Plan scheme is duly acknowledged.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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Bhargava P, Panda P, Ostwal V, Ramaswamy A. Repurposing valproate to prevent acute respiratory distress syndrome/acute lung injury in COVID-19: A review immunomodulatory action. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3 Suppl S1:65-70.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Pande P, Sharma P, Goyal D, Kulkarni T, Rane S, Mahajan A. COVID-19: A review of the ongoing pandemic. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:221-32.  Back to cited text no. 12
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13.
Paital B, Das K, Parida SK. Inter nation social lockdown versus medical care against COVID-19, a mild environmental insight with special reference to India. Sci Total Environ 2020;728:138914.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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Cohen AJ, Brauer M, Burnett R, Anderson HR, Frostad J, Estep K, et al. Estimates and 25-year trends of the global burden of disease attributable to ambient air pollution: An analysis of data from the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2015. Lancet 2017;389:1907-18.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
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18.
Das K, Paital B. First Week of Social Lockdown versus Medical Care against COVID-19 - with Special Reference to India. Curr Trend Biotechnol Pharmacol 2020;14:190-210.  Back to cited text no. 18
    


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