Air pollution in India has caused over one million deaths in 2019, according to a report in the medical journal The Lancet. The report said that air pollution causes 1.67 million premature deaths in the country each year.

The report noted the death rate tied to ambient particulate matter pollution increased by 115 percent from 1990 to 2019. 

“It increases future risk for heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease for today’s children when they become adults. It is reducing children’s IQ. It will be very difficult for India to move forward socially or economically if they don’t do something about the problem,” said Philip J. Landrigan, MD, the lead researcher and professor of biology at Boston College.

India relies heavily on fossil fuel, which generated 71 percent of the country’s electricity in 2020, according to the country’s Central Electricity Authority. The country suffered $36.8 billion in economic loss or 1.36 percent of the country’s GDP, according to The Lancet. 

“It seems increasingly likely that coal power will plateau in the 2020s in India,” Aditya Lolla, a senior analyst for Ember, a climate and energy think tank, said, according to Electrek. “But, there is still a risk that India could be knocked off course. As India recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic shock, the choices it makes in the next decade will make or break its coal to clean electricity transition.”

TRENDPOST: Last 24 March, with only a few hours’ notice, hundreds of millions of people of all classes were suddenly put out of work when the government locked down the nation, causing mass migration out of big cities and making hundreds of millions jobless to fight the virus.

During the year that will end on 31 March 2021, India’s economy will contract by 9 percent, said ratings agency S&P, not the 5 percent the agency had predicted earlier.

The pandemic and shutdown will rob India’s GDP of 13 percent of its potential growth over the next three years, S&P added.

Moody’s and Goldman Sachs both forecast a double-digit crash this year for what had been the world’s fastest-growing large economy.

TRENDPOST: To date, some 156,420 people in India have reportedly died from COVID out of a population of 1.388 billion or 0.0113 percent. In America, the land of “The Exceptionals” with a population of 330 million, there are a reported 511,113 virus victims.

Yet, while India reopened its nation at the end of May last year and much of America is still locked down, virus deaths and cases continue to rise in the U.S. as India’s decline. 

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