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More than 800 lives may have been saved across Europe thanks to better air quality in the first phase of Covid lockdowns, research suggests.

Measures brought in to stem the rise in infections resulted in far fewer cars and lorries on roads, which had the biggest impact on reducing deaths, according to the study led by experts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

Analysis of 47 European cities found Paris, London, Barcelona and Milan were among the top six with the highest number of avoided deaths. The study noted that closing workplaces and schools in European cities reduced levels of air pollution through less traffic and movement, while public events were cancelled and people stayed at home.

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