To control the COVID-19 outbreak, China introduced tough traffic rules and restrictions. The countrywide ban on traffic greatly lowered pollution from lack of cars and other vehicles, whereas emissions from heating in homes and industry remained fairly steady. In a recent study, the improvement in air quality was estimated to have saved many thousands of lives due to a reduction in heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. In fact, the decrease in the number of cardiovascular deaths could have outnumbered the deaths due to COVID-19 in China.


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