In the wake of the constantly dipping air quality in the city, the Delhi government on Monday issued a health advisory to the public. The government said the polluted air was taking a heavy toll on the health of the people and the national capital had been witnessing smoggy mornings due to high moisture content, particulate matter, pollution and lack of wind. “It is a man–made situation… common sources could be direct result of the burning of agricultural residue in neighbouring states, industrial pollution, construction work, bursting of firecrackers, household combustion devices, burning of wood, coal, etc,” it added. As per the data by the Central Pollution Control Board, it has registered the day’s air quality index (AQI) at 362, 10 units more than yesterday, on a scale of 500. The AQI takes into account levels of suspended particulate matter and gases like nitrogen dioxide. An AQI between 301-400 is classified as ‘very poor’, which can trigger respiratory illness on prolonged exposure. In a health advisory, the government has urged the people to follow the following measures:
- Avoid smoking and stepping out during the early morning and late evening hours.
- It also appealed to the city residents to carpool and use public transport.
- Urged not to burn dry leaves, crop residue, wood, coal, etc.
- The government asked schools to avoid outdoor assemblies, sports and other physical activities in the early morning hours.
- It has urged people not to smoke, as it harms not only you but others also.
- Observe environment friendly behavior.
- Keep the environment healthy, not only by words but also by your actions
- The government has advised the people to go to the nearest medical facility if they feel breathless or palpitation and added that treatment was absolutely free in all government health facilities.
- It has called for extra precautions for high-risk groups such as children, elderly, pregnant women, asthma patients, and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary obstructive pulmonary diseases, heart disease and diabetes.
- It has suggested using N95 masks while going outdoor during the peak pollution hours.
Air quality in Delhi, which remained ‘very poor’ for the fourth straight day today, is set to nosedive further. Meanwhile, Union environment secretary CK Mishra said: “As government, we are determined to not let this (smog episode) happen again, which may mean taking harsh measures, and there will be (such measures). Because, we care for lives and we cannot ignore that aspect,” he said.