(CNN)The drastic measures enforced by China during the coronavirus outbreak have slashed deadly air pollution, potentially saving the lives of tens of thousands of people, a Stanford University researcher said. Marshall Burke, an assistant professor at Stanford’s Department of Earth System Science, said the better air quality could have saved between 50,000 and 75,000 people from dying prematurely. “The reductions in air pollution in China caused by this economic disruption likely saved twenty times more lives in China than have currently been lost due to infection with the virus in that country,” Burke wrote on G-Feed, a site run by a group of scientists researching the relationship between society and the environment.The link between air pollution and premature deaths has been well established. A 30-year analysis of 652 cities in 24 countries and regions across six continents found that increases in air pollution were linked to increases in related deaths: The higher the levels of pollution, the faster people die. While China has made some progress in tackling pollution, it still ranks poorly in global comparisons. The World Health Organization has estimated that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air.According to China’s

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