Pollution levels in Delhi and neighbouring cities reached alarming levels a few days ago. But call it a good sign as it dropped marginally with a slight increase in the wind speed. Following worst air quality, authorities shut schools, banned all construction activities and declared a public health emergency. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed Delhi a gas chamber and blamed stubble burning in neighbouring Haryana and nearby Punjab for the apocalyptic haze shrouding the city.
Hospitals in Delhi have seen a sudden spike in the number of patients reporting with respiratory and breathing complications. People get admitted with eye burning, eye watering, breathing and respiratory difficulty, asthma problems and allergy besides chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Pollution levels in the satellite towns of Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Noida (499) were much worse.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has rightly announced a list of guidelines for residents of Delhi to follow to deal with the smog. That includes, “Avoid strenuous activities and hard labour as this forces one to inhale more and thus take in more harmful particles from the air, if you have to exercise and do physical activities, try to do it indoors instead of going out. Also, physical activities should be left for the evening, drink more water to flush out toxins and harmful particles from the body and start wearing masks to protect yourself from the harmful effluents floating in the air.”