With more and more people staying indoor and traffic getting less and less due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the air in Istanbul has become a lot easier to breathe. According to Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Toros of Istanbul Technical University, in the last 10 days, air pollution around Istanbul has reduced by 30% compared to averages from January 2020.
In January, the city's particulate matter values came to 50 micrograms – a figure since lowered to 30 micrograms, Toros said. Within a matter of days, the air quality of the metropolitan city has improved so much that it is considered officially “good” compared to its previous “medium” rating.
Toros said that there are three main causes of pollution: “The first is transportation, the second is industrial facilities and the third is generated by heating. Therefore, when these three factors decrease there follows a serious improvement in the quality of the air.”
He listed Gaziosmanpaşa, Başakşehir, Esenyurt and Kartal as the districts with the highest pollution, whereas Sarıyer, Şile and Beykoz are considered the city's cleanest.
Turkey has put a variety of measures into action to combat the further spread of the coronavirus, with the latest being a curfew for citizens age 65 and older, as well as people with chronic diseases.