The air quality index of the national capital improved a notch and stood at 199, the higher-end of the moderate category, on Friday morning, according to the Central pollution Board’s data at 12 p.m. The capital city and surrounding areas witnessed poor quality of air for two days.
With stubble burning, the air pollution reaches a crescendo in Delhi-NCR every winter, when pollution from stubble burning combines with the suspended water droplets in the lower atmosphere to form a thick blanket of noxious smog, thus creating health hazards for the residents.
According to the data of the Central Pollution Control Board, out of 35 pollution monitoring stations, the air quality index in as many as 15 stations is in the poor category, while 18 stations recorded the index in the moderate category, two were non-functional. The area near Jahangirpuri recorded the highest AQI at 267.
The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) categorizes air quality in the 0-50 range as good, 51-100 as satisfactory, 101-200 as moderate, 201-300 as poor, 301-400 as very poor and above 400 as severe.
According to SAFAR, which comes under the aegis of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, particulate matter of the diameter of 2.5 micrometres which go deep into the smallest sacs within the human lungs and bloodstream is currently the main pollutant.
“AQI is forecasted to stay at the higher end of moderate to the poor category for tomorrow, further AQI is forecasted to improve by 11th October, but in the moderate category,” the air quality forecasting system stated.
SAFAR further apprised that the low pressure formed over the Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify and influence circulations in north and central India. A shift in Delhi surface wind direction, northwesterly to southeasterly by 12th October is forecasted, which could influence the air quality positively in the ensuing week.
“Pollution is very harmful for everyone, but more so for people with chronic lung conditions like asthma, COPD who notice their symptoms of cough and breathlessness worsening. We have seen a spike in OPD attendance of these patients recently,” said Dr. Arunesh Kumar, Senior Consultant and Head of Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology at Paras Hospital in Gurugram.
Dr. Kumar further said that the masks, which provide protection from viruses, are also helpful for this. Such patients should be compliant with their treatment and avoid exposure to these pollutants.