New Delhi: With the air quality index in Delhi entering the Severe Plus category and the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority declaring a public health emergency, experts have advised people to urgently take steps to protect their health.
While authorities have taken a quick-fix measure by declaring emergency in favour of the public health, experts suggested a few dos and don'ts to tackle the ill effects of toxic air pollutants.
Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS recommended against stepping out for morning walks.
"Bad air takes a toll of everyone, especially on the heart patients, pregnant women and kids. They should avoid going out during morning and evening hours," said Dr Guleria.
"During the current situation everyone should strictly avoid outdoor exercises as the ability to filter out or detoxify environmental agents and pollution is becoming low," he added.
Another doctor, a pulmonologist from Columbia Asia Hospital, Dr Piyush Goel said everyone must don the right pollution mask while going to work or other other places to survive the national capital's toxic air.
"The normal cloth mask is not as effective as they can't stop any pollutants. Special masks such as the N99 and N95 masks though are expensive are way more effective against the pollution," said Dr Goel.
Since the indoor air quality also deteriorates, Dr Arunesh Kumar, Chief of Chest Institute and Respiratory Medicine, Paras Hospital cautioned the Delhiites to "sprinkle water in the morning and in the evening so to avoid pollution caused by suspended dust particles from electronic items such as air conditioners."
"Using indoor plants which can purify the air inside the home is also advisable. Other than this, vaccinations are suggested to vulnerable patients who have asthma, COPD, Cardiovascular disease, cancer and to patients who have the transplant done," said Dr Kumar.
"Whenever facing issues in the respiration process simply inhale steam with few drops of lavender essential oil, it will clear the mucus. In case of the troubled breathing process, keep hot water bag on the chest to get relieved," added Dr Kumar.
A layer of smog and dust particles has turned the air quality of Delhi-NCR plunging to the severe or hazardous category, making everyone cough, causing throat irritation and even spreading serious health risk.
On Friday, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority declared a public health emergency as the air quality will have adverse health impacts on all particularly the children.
Environmentalist Vimlendu Jha spoke to ANI about a few steps everyone must take to increase the green cover around them, given the steep increase in pollution.
"The condition of the national capital has turned severe as the Air Quality Index has surpassed 200, turning the city into a gas chamber. The use of public transport must be increased, steps to increase green cover shall be taken not only by the government but also by the citizens," said Jha.
A blanket of haze over Delhi thickened this morning with the national capital's pollution levels increasing overnight by around 50 points, taking the overall air quality index to 459.
A Central Pollution Control Board official said the AQI entered the "severe-plus" or "emergency" category late on Thursday night, the first time since January this year....