Map released by forest department showing a comparative study of COVID-19 affected areas and the current forest cover in the area
Map released by forest department showing a comparative study of COVID-19 affected areas and the current forest cover in the area
Forest department

People living in greener areas with better forest cover are less prone to infections including COVID-19, says a report released by Forest department. The report is a study of COVID-19 affected areas in Madhya Pradesh and green cover in the area.

India and the whole world is fighting coronavirus pandemic. Continuous studies are being done by the scientists regarding treatment and prevention etc. of this disease. Meanwhile, a study was done by Madhya Pradesh Forest department to understand the role of forests in preventing the disease.

For the study, percentage of forests in each district and the available area of forest per thousand people was assessed and the relation of declaring red, green and orange zones of the state was seen in relation to the spread of COVID-19.

As per findings, the map released shows that the districts of the state which have a forest area of more than 200 hectares per thousand people are generally in the green zone. “Districts like Betul and Chhindwara, which are connected to Maharastra where COVID-19 attack is highest, have still controlled the effect of the COVID-19 infection,” the report said.

It explained that the density of forests in these districts is high, which has helped in them in staying in orange zone.

Both these districts are connected to the red zone districts of Maharashtra affected by COVID-19 and Hoshangabad district, a Red zone district in Madhya Pradesh.

“Districts like Ujjain, Indore, Khargone, Bhopal, Morena, where the availability of forest cover per 1000 people is less than 100 hectares, is in the entire district in the Red Zone,” the report said.

The report added that many districts like Balaghat, Shahdol, Panna, Anuppur, Umaria, where large numbers of migrant labourers have returned, are in the Green Zone only. “From the available data, it seems prima facie that the immunity of citizens is relatively better in those areas where there is more availability of forests. However, more study is required in this subject,” the report said.

District Forest cover in square kilometre

Balaghat- 4,932

Chhindwara- 4,588

Betul- 3663

District Forest area percentage

Balaghat- 53.44%

Sheopur- 52.38%

Umaria- 49.62%

District Forest area per 1,000 people

Sheopur- 503 hectares

Dindori- 430 hectares

Umaria- 314 hectares

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