The high levels of air pollution in Delhi have led the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to call for the immediate cancellation of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. The marathon was scheduled for 7 am on 19 November.
The IMA put out a joint statement by Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, National President IMA and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), and Dr RN Tandon, Honorary Secretary General IMA, citing the poor quality in the national capital, which would have an adverse effect on everybody’s health, including healthy people.
Delhi has been experiencing high air pollution levels these past days. The air quality is particularly poor early in the morning, when pollution is extremely high. This is also the time when the proposed ‘Half Marathon’ is scheduled to start. Air pollution not only affects the performance of the runner, the dangerously high pollution levels may have disastrous health consequences, even for the healthy participants, including the volunteers involved in organising the event.
The doctors further pointed out that poor air quality can aggravate asthma and other respiratory and heart related diseases.
“High PM 2.5 levels can increase BP, and can also increase the risk of acute cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, stroke... Hence, we demand that the event be cancelled immediately and postponed to a later date, when air pollution levels are better. IMA will be writing to Hon’ble Delhi Chief Minister, Chief Justice Delhi High Court and the Chairperson, National Green Tribunal in this regard”, added the statement.
In the last couple of days, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi has ranged from “very unhealthy” to “hazardous”. The levels have crossed the 300 ‘danger’ mark in several parts of the city.
If the AQI is above 100, it is prudent for race administrators to warn participants and volunteers, particularly those with lung conditions, about the potential risk.The IMA Joint Statement
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