01 Nov 2019
Public Health Emergency Declared in Delhi-NCR
Delhi's air quality dropped to 'emergency' category first time since January

All schools in the national capital will remain closed till 5 November as air pollution crosses danger levels, Delhi Government announced.

The pollution level in the region has entered the “severe-plus” or “emergency” category, the first time since January.

SC Panel Declares Public Health Emergency in Delhi-NCR

A Supreme Court mandated panel, EPCA has declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region due to the rising air pollution and banned construction activity till November 5.

The pollution authority has also banned the bursting of crackers during the winter season.

Construction activities, hot mix plants closed till November 5

In a letter to chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, EPCA Chairman Bhure Lal said, “The air quality in Delhi and NCR deteriorated further last night and is now at the severe-plus level. We have to take this as a public health emergency as it will have adverse health impacts on all, particularly our children.”

Under these circumstances, he said, construction activities, hot mix plants and stone crushers in Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, and Greater Noida will remain closed till the morning of November 5.

Kejriwal distributes masks to schoolchildren

Blaming neighboring states for turning Delhi into a gas chamber, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal distributed masks to school children. He said that they have only been able to procure 50 lakh masks this year.

He tweeted, “Delhi has turned into a gas chamber due to smoke from crop burning in neighboring states. It is very important that we protect ourselves from this toxic air. Through private and government schools, we have started distributing 50 lakh masks today. I urge all Delhiites to use them whenever needed.” 

He said the smoke emanating from stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana causes pollution in Delhi. “Please write letters to Captain uncle and Khattar uncle and say, ‘Please think about our health’,” he told children.

Bangladesh players practice in a thick haze

Ahead of a T20 match scheduled on 4th November, Bangladesh players are seen training in a thick haze, with batsman Liton Das wearing an anti-pollution mask during a fielding drill.

Meanwhile, blaming Arvind Kejriwal for the deteriorating air quality in Delhi, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel staged a protest in Delhi today by going on a hunger strike.

Ghaziabad, the most polluted city in the country

All the 37 air quality monitoring stations across Delhi recorded the air quality in the severe category on Friday morning.

Bawana was the most-polluted area with an AQI of 497, followed by Delhi Technological University (487), Wazirpur (485), Anand Vihar (484) and Vivek Vihar (482).

Image source: Hindustan Times

Neighboring Ghaziabad was the most polluted city in the country, with the levels of PM2.5 — tiny particulate matter less than 2.5 microns that can enter deep into the lungs — reaching as high as 493. Greater Noida (480), Noida (477), and Faridabad (432) also breathed extremely polluted air.

What you can do to avoid air pollution?

  1. Stop any activity level if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty, or fatigue and consult a doctor.
  1. If the room has windows, close them.
  1. If the air conditioner provides a fresh air intake option, close it.
  1. Avoid burning anything, such as wood, candles or even incense.
  1. Keep the room clean don’t vacuum. Do wet mopping frequently.
  1. Masks known as N-95 or P-100 respirators may only help if you go out. Do not rely on dust masks for protection.
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