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Delhi

Updated on: Sunday, November 14, 2021, 04:05 PM IST

Is slight improvement in Delhi's AQI a good sign? Here's what an expert says

Representative Image
 | ANI

Representative Image | ANI

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Delhi's air quality on Sunday improved marginally as the air quality in the national capital reached 'very poor' category with Air Quality Index (AQI) at 386 (overall), according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

However, according to an expert, as long as the sources responsible for pollution still prevail the chances of citizens developing chronic respiratory illnesses cannot be ruled out.

"AQI might've improved due to increased wind velocity; it won't be normal in a day as its sources prevail. It'll slowly wreak our lungs & create a chronic respiratory disease later, like slow poisoning," Dr Ujjawal Parakh, Sr Consultant, Interventional Pulmonologist, SGRH was quoted saying by ANI.

He further said that patients who recovered from COVID-19 are the most vulnerable.

"COVID recovered patients with residual effects would definitely feel respiratory problems. Symptoms of lung patients aren't reducing, despite their max therapy. Every age group to be affected; try and remain indoors," he said.

According to reports from ANI, the use of smog towers in Delhi has helped in marginally bringing down the pollution .

"With smog tower, air pollution levels have been improved in the area as much as 50-70% compared to outer air pollution. Operational hour of the tower is around 24 hrs however due to heating we take 3-4 hrs break," Mohsin, an operator of a smog tower at Connaught Place told ANI

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Meanwhile, the pollution level in the National Capital Region (NCR), especially Noida and Gurugram, also remained worrisome. Noida reported AQI in the 'hazardous' category at 536, while the air quality in Gurugram was at the upper end of 'severe' category at 423.

As per SAFAR's bulletin, the AQI is likely to improve in two day "as winds at transport level (925 mb) are slowing down resulting in lesser intrusion of farm fires related pollutants into Delhi." "However, as local winds are becoming calm and minimum temperature is decreasing further, preventing efficient dispersion of pollutants leading to improvement of air quality to the upper end of very poor category or lower end of the severe category," it added.

The effective fire count was reduced to 3,157 yesterday, SAFAR informed.

According to the government agencies, AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 are marked as severe/hazardous.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted: "mainly clear sky and moderate fog in the morning" for Sunday and Monday.

"The contribution of biomass burning in PM2.5 concentration is likely to be approximately 10 per cent on November 13-14 as winds are favourable for transportation of pollutants," it added.

The mercury in the capital city has dropped to 11.6 degrees Celsius on Sunday, IMD said.

To tackle increasing air pollution levels in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced a 'pollution lockdown' under which the schools would remain physically closed for a week from tomorrow.

All construction activity in Delhi has also been shut down from November 14 to November 17.

Government office employees will be asked to operate from home (WFH) at 100 per cent capacity for a week, while private offices will be issued an advisory to go for WFH (work from home) option as much as possible, stated the Chief Minister.

Kejriwal had announced the decisions after chairing a high-level emergency meeting with senior officials and ministers of the Delhi government.

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Published on: Sunday, November 14, 2021, 04:05 PM IST
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