Monday morning, schools remained shut as residents of Delhi NCR woke up to air smelling of smoke, coughing fits and brown dirty air. Despite rains, there was little respite as AQI levels across the region were firmly in the ‘hazardous’ category.
The rest of the country breathed better with Mumbai and Hyderabad breathing moderate PM 2.5 levels. Chennai and Kolkata also showed a spike in bad air quality with the city average in both cities showing ‘unhealthy‘ air.
FIT spoke with doctors from across fields in Delhi and they have all reported increased instances of hospitalisation, illness and worsening of condition among patients with heart disease, lung, brain, liver and other disorders. Doctors also warned of worsening mental health.
Here’s what the numbers mean. The World Health Organisation identifies pollution levels are ranging from:
- 0 - 50: Good. Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.
- 51-100: Satisfactory. Air quality is acceptable; may be a moderate health concern for sensitive people.
- 101-200: Moderate. Sensitive groups (with lung, heart diseases) may experience health issues.
- 201-300: Poor. Everyone may begirn to experience health issues like respiratory problems.
- 301-400: Very Poor. Health warnings of emergency conditions. Entire population is likely to be affected.
- 401-500: Severe. Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health issues.
If you wish to check the air quality index of your city, click on this link: https://www.thequint.com/quintlab/widgets/air-quality-index/
(FIT is launching its #PollutionKaSolution campaign. Join us by becoming an anti-air pollution warrior. Send in your questions, your stories of how to tackle air pollution and your ideas to FIT@thequint.com)