New Delhi: As the Air Quality Index (AQI) in several parts of Delhi-NCR is reeling under the ‘severe’ category, the number of people with respiratory and other problems has increased in the national capital, a health expert said on Friday (November 3). Speaking to ANI on the worsening air quality of the city, Dr, Nikhil Modi, Senior Consultant Respiratory Critical Care, Apollo Hospital, said that the number of patients with respiratory problems coming to OPDs has almost doubled. the chest specialist at Apollo Hospital said,
When I say the number of those who have respiratory troubles coming to OPDs has almost doubled. That means those who were coming to us have doubled.
The air quality in the national capital turned ‘severe’ on Friday morning with Mundka recording the highest Air Quality Index (498).
As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI in the Lodhi Road area was recorded at 438, in Jahangirpuri at 491, in the RK Puram area and in IGI Airport (T3) at 486 and 473 respectively.
Air Quality Index (AQI) is a tool for effective communication of air quality status to people in terms, which are easy to understand. It transforms complex air quality data of various pollutants into a single number (index value), nomenclature, and colour.
The AQI from 0 to 100 is considered good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe, which affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.
Dr Modi said that the deteriorating air quality is having an impact on those persons, who have had respiratory issues in the past. He said,
They are landing up in OPDs. They are landing up in emergencies, and even apart from them, those who never had respiratory issues are having trouble from this. They are facing issues like cough, runny nose, watering of eyes, nose, blog, throat irritation, and also breathing difficulties.
The doctor said that small children or elderly people are being affected and all of them are suffering from the issue right now. He added,
And even we have seen from data that life expectancy may come down if their pollution exposures remain high.
The health expert also advised to follow precautions including wearing masks and avoiding going out unnecessarily. He mentioned,
We are in that time of the year where pollution has started to increase once again… The number of patients with breathing problems has increased. More people have coughs, colds, water and irritation in their eyes, and breathing problems. People of every age are affected by this. The time has come for us to use masks. Go out only when needed.
Also you should be doing some daily breathing exercises to keep your lungs healthy. Take a rich diet of vegetables and fruits which have lots of antioxidants and vitamins which will help you in the fight against all the harms of this pollution. So this is the bare minimum which we can do at an individual level to pass it.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government on Thursday ordered for all the government and private primary schools to remain shut for the next two days.
In the wake of the worsening air quality, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) invoked the third stage of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on Thursday.
Stage III of the GRAP is implemented when the AQI hits Severe in the range of 401-450. As part of its response to combat pollution the state government can impose strict restrictions on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers in certain areas and may suspend physical classes in schools for primary grade children up to Class 5. The Delhi government has since suspended primary school classes.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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