During the past few weeks battle continued to control the spread of COVID19 Virus by all the dedicated healthcare workers supported ably by others supporting services.
In this same period, the Central Environment Authority claims the air quality index at its three monitoring stations, two located at Battaramulla and one in Kandy was hovering near the yellow shade, indicating moderate levels of pollution.
The authorities have attributed this to the absence of emissions as vehicles are a leading cause of air pollution. Sixty percent of the emissions come from the country’s fleet of vehicles and the balance from power plants at Sapugaskanda and Kelaniya.
Meanwhile, the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) said that the seas along the shores of Galle, Matara, Kalutara, and Negombo have shown a 40% reduction in polythene waste; the coastal waters are much cleaner because of the absence of tourists and locals who litter. Further, there has been a drop in the amount of nitrogen and phosphates in the sea.
The nutrients that come from run off water from rivers can promote algae growth. In normal times, nutrients in the fertilisers from agri lands gets washed into the rivers and to the sea, promoting algal growth. These weeds can deplete the oxygen in the waters killing aquatic life.
Further faecal pollution into the sea has also reduced because of the strict rules preventing people from leaving their homes as most costal area residents use the beach to defecate.
The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is also collecting less solid waste in and around the city. Since lockdown came to effect there is a 50% reduction in the volume of garbage collected; attributed to reduced volumes to the closure of hotels, eateries, and offices.
CMC now only collect around 200 metric tons per day, compared with 550 metric tons a day before the curfew. With household waste reduced and the present focus on high risk areas has prompted the CMC to reduce its frequency of collection to every three days.
In this scenario more than a dozen research groups worldwide as part of their contribution to curb spread of COVID-19 virus pandemic have started analysing wastewater for the new coronavirus as a way to estimate the total number of infections in a community, given that most people will not be tested.
The method the scientists claim could also be used to detect the coronavirus if it returns to communities. So far, researchers have found traces of the virus in the Netherlands, the United States and Sweden. To read more visit site below: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00973-x
The lockdown continuing in Sri Lanka due to the coronavirus pandemic has helped to restore the waters of rivers, improved the air quality and has considerably reduced the amount of plastics washed out to sea.
Sri Lanka should promote useage of renewable energy, with the aim to maintain the gains of improved environmental conditions. Also by introducing methods to analyse waste water and measure quality of air as a preventive measure to control COVID-19 and any other virus spread in the country.