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Delhi

Updated on: Saturday, November 06, 2021, 11:02 PM IST

Lifespan of Delhi residents has significantly diminished due to high pollution levels: AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria

The scene in Gurugram, post-Diwali | -

The scene in Gurugram, post-Diwali | -

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New Delhi: The gas chamber analogies are coming true: None other than the Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Randeep Guleria – a pulmonologist -- on Tuesday said that Delhi’s air is more toxic than cigarette smoke and that the lifespan of Delhi residents has significantly diminished due to high pollution levels. Guleria told India Today: ‘‘The data remains to be validated but pollution definitely reduces lifespan. In fact, the lungs of Delhiites have turned blackish.”

Guleria further said that Covid severity increases in polluted areas. “Patients have more swelling in the lungs,” he said, adding, “Covid can even spread more easily as the coronavirus sticks to pollutants and doesn’t get dispersed.”

This was Delhi’s poorest post-Diwali air quality since 2017, courtesy a lethal cocktail of noxious fumes from firecrackers and stubble burning, pushing the 24-hour average AQI to 462 on Friday, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.

However, strong surface winds helped clear out pollutants in the city's air on Saturday.

Gaurav, a 10th grader out for cycling, told wire agency ANI, "Earlier, we did not get tired while cycling after a short time. But these days such is the pollution that we run out of steam in no time. There is a burning sensation in the lungs and a feeling of breathlessness.’’

Speaking to ANI, Dr Ashok Seth of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute said, "These are really dangerous levels for the elderly and those with lung problems and heart disease. Pollution itself leads to chest congestion and bronchospasm. Those with Asthma, bronchitis will start getting worse. It itself predisposes to further chest infections, viral infections and cases of pneumonia.’’

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Published on: Saturday, November 06, 2021, 11:02 PM IST
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