Delhi air pollution and hazy smog trigger grave concerns! Are you worrying about why there is so much smog in Delhi? This is the question everyone’s been asking since the last few days. As most Delhiites would vouch for it, there is smoky haze everywhere! Undoubtedly, Delhi smog has triggered widespread worries as air quality had hit a highly concerning ‘severe’ category on 2 November 2023. Reuters has reported that residents across Delhi NCR are in a rush to buy air purifiers and at one service centre, they have reported a shortage of new filters.
Given the rising levels of pollution and smog in Delhi, most government schools and primary schools have been directed to stay closed, keeping in mind the safety of children. This brings another concern to light - the health of Delhiites who are breathing toxic air and are exposed to the pollutants.
Smog and Poor AQI in Delhi: Who Are At Risk?
Children, infants, and toddlers are the most vulnerable, followed by elderly people and individuals with heart-related and respiratory problems. Those who work outdoors are also at increased risk as they may have direct exposure to pollutants in the air. There is considerable need for caution while stepping outdoors at this time.
Smog Raises Grave Concerns: Why is Delhi Air Quality Poor?
Several factors are known to have contributed to this extremely concerning scenario such as pollutants in the air, smoke caused by stubble burning and more. A digital news report in Mint observes that several places such as Anand Vihar station, Punjabi Bagh station, Mundka station have reportedly recorded Air Quality levels that fall in the ‘severe’ category, well above the 400 AQI mark, as per Central Pollution Control Board’s data. With stubble burning and farm fires increasing across the northwestern part of the country, the AQI is forecasted to remain in the ‘severe’ category. A TOI report highlights that a Municipal Corporation of Delhi official has confirmed that immediate measures such as sprinkling water on roads, curbing burning waste in open spaces and dust mitigation measures are currently underway.
Delhi-NCR Air Pollution Triggers Respiratory Issues and Health Concerns
According to a digital news report in HT, the air quality deterioration has impacted visibility drastically to about 600 metres at Safdarjung and 500 metres at Palam. An IMD official is quoted in the report as saying that it is the lowest visibility marked for the day and they do not expect considerable change later. Doctors are reportedly witnessing a surge in irritative bronchitis infections and respiratory issues including asthma and chronic bronchitis.
Delhi Air Quality Plunges: Latest Measures To Mitigate Risk
From a health and well-being perspective, Delhi air quality is now being addressed as a real-time crisis, which is why it is important to keep track of a few latest measures that are being implemented to safeguard health:
The Commission for Air Quality Management in Delhi has currently invoked the Stage - III, Graded Response Action Plan, the Indian Express has reported.
Further, state governments spanning the National Capital Region are expected to ban all activities related to construction and demolition except for healthcare, railways and metro-related projects.
There will be restrictions on BS III petrol as well as BS IV diesel 4-wheelers across Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad.
Diesel buses are not allowed entry into Delhi and there are 18 teams which have been formed for this purpose.
Do not burn waste in open spaces.
Most government agencies cautioned that Delhi’s pollution levels are likely to worsen in the next 15-20 days. They expect farm fires and a clear drop in airspeed and temperature.
Delhi Smog: Orange Alert for Good Health
Health is wealth! We all know how important it is to safeguard health at a time like this, especially as children, expectant mothers and senior citizens can be drastically impacted.
For residents across the National Capital Region, the smog serves as an ‘Orange Alert’ to prioritise good health over and above everything else.
Few things that can help you keep your loved ones safe right now:
Reassure your loved ones not to panic as measures are being taken to minimise impact
Reach out to doctors in case of symptoms that are worrying
Steer clear of construction related activities, industrial areas and high density places
Avoid large gatherings and events
Do not take babies, toddlers outside unless it is necessary
Reduce commuting as much as possible - opt for Work-From-Home if possible
Use air purifiers at workplaces and inside homes - this is recommended by doctors.
Check affordable insurance solutions that are perfectly tailored to cover your needs.
When your loved ones are at risk, the best thing you can do for them is to ensure you are well-prepared with a clear, outcome-based cover that protects your family from health crises.
Be it medical treatment, hospitalisation or daycare treatment, what matters is that there is an adequate financial safety net to ensure that you don’t have to worry about expenses.
Stay safe, resilient and tension-free!