New Delhi: Raising serious concerns on the air quality of the national capital, the Indian Medical Association on Tuesday said it’s a public health emergency in the state of the Delhi & NCR and suggested all schools should close right away.
Speaking to news agency ANI, IMA President Dr.KK Aggarwal said, " The PM 10 levels are more than 1000, PM 2.5 levels are more than 900 & 1.0 is more than 330. It’s a public health emergency in the state of the Delhi & NCR. All schools should close right away, as on today immediately schools should close."
He said people should not come on the roads unless it’s a necessity.
Security personnel stand guard at the Rajghat memorial amid heavy smog in New Delhi on November 7, 2017. New Delhi woke up to a choking blanket of smog on November 7 as air quality in the world's most polluted capital city reached hazardous levels. The US embassy website said levels of the fine pollutants known as PM2.5 that are most harmful to health reached 703 -- well over double the threshold of 300 which authorities class as hazardous. / AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH SINGH
He advised children, elderly people, pregnant ladies, heart & Asthama patients to stay at home & take precautions.
"The air can precipitate Asthama, COPD, acute rise in blood pressure & acute heart attack & sudden death, so this is a public emergency," Aggarwal said.
"We have written to the CM of Delhi & also to the Education minister Manish Sisodia to take immediate steps"
Aggarwal said there is no question of Marathon, Cyclethon or any sport activity in this weather.
"When we are prohibiting walking, what to talk about marathon. It can precipitate heart attack & sudden death forget about Asthama."
IMA President Dr.KK Aggarwal
The air quality in Delhi and NCR got more toxic on Monday, with winds coming from Punjab and Haryana where stubble burning continues unabated.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Technical University (DTU) in north Delhi, ITO in central Delhi, Anand Vihar in west Delhi and areas in Ghaziabad and Noida recorded a "severe" rating on the Air Quality Index (AQI) at 5 p.m on Monday.
According to the satellite images from NASA's fire mapper, stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana has increased.
Indian commuters cross railway lines in dense fog and air pollution in Jalandhar on November 7, 2017. India's Central Pollution Control Board said high levels of moisture in the air and a lack of wind meant emissions had become trapped in the environment and brought heavy smog conditions to northern India. / AFP PHOTO / SHAMMI MEHRA
The average PM2.5 or particles with diameter less than 2.5mm -- the major pollutant -- was 353 units, about 14 times the safe limit by 8 p.m in Delhi, with average AQI value of 356, considered "very poor".
The safe range for PM2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic meter as per Indian standards and 25 units as per international norms.
In Delhi, the DTU recorded 426 on the AQI at 6 p.m, with PM2.5 ranging 335-500 units between 6 a.m and 6 p.m.
Pusa in central Delhi was the area with cleanest air in the national capital with an AQI value of 263, considered "poor", and average PM2.5 recorded at 115 units -- four times the safe limit.
At ITO, AQI value was 400 at 6 p.m and PM2.5 ranging 307-500 units from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m; at Anand Vihar it was 476, with PM2.5 ranging 308-500 units; Vasundhara in Ghaziabad had an AQI value of 438, with PM2.5 ranging 316-500 units; and Sector 125 in Noida had an AQI of 435, with PM2.5 ranging 318-500 units.
The CPCB's data from 13 other monitoring stations across Delhi recorded "very poor" on AQI ranging from 265 (poor) at Aya Nagar to 396 at Punjabi Bagh.
"Currently Delhi is receiving north-westerly winds coming from Punjab and Haryana. This will continue for at least the next two days," Mahesh Palawat, Director of private weather forecaster Skymet, told IANS.