Respiratory ailments increase as a cloud of dust and haze envelops Delhi and surrounding areas

New Delhi, 15 June 2018: Doctors across Delhi have reported an increase in the number of patients of respiratory ailments coming in with aggravated symptoms. The number has almost doubled in the last five days largely due to the dust pollution the city has been experiencing. A thick blanket of dust and haze has enveloped Delhi’s skyline since last week causing people without respiratory ailments also to run amok.
PM10 level, which is the presence of particles with diameter less than 10mm, was beyond severe at 796 in Delhi-NCR on Thursday and 830 in Delhi on Thursday. For PM2.5, microscopic particles that lodge deep into the lungs and cause the most harm, levels were recorded at 320, a “very unhealthy” score.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India, said, “Pollution is a burning issue today and has become a major public health problem because of its impact on human health. Delhi is already reeling under scorching heat and this dust pollution poses a double risk for those living in the city. Several measures have been taken to improve the air quality including halting all construction activities and sprinkling water and machines sweeping streets. Everything from breathlessness and familiar burning sensation in the eyes have returned. The current level of pollution in Delhi can affect even an unborn child in the womb. A normal adult breathes about 6 litres of air per minute at rest, which increases to about 20 litres during physical activity. Given the alarming levels of pollution currently, this will only increase the amount of toxins in the lungs.”
Much has been written and talked about the dangerously high levels of air pollution, particularly in Delhi-NCR. The most frequently talked about sources of pollution include vehicular emissions, crop stubble burning, dust on roads, garbage burning, construction activities, and industrial emissions.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “The best thing given the current situation would be to stay indoors as much as possible and stay away from the dust. Use air purifiers inside the house. Those who go for work or people who cannot avoid venturing out must compulsorily use masks.”

Some tips from HCFI
• Avoid walking, jogging or exercising outdoors when the air is hazy
• Stay indoors in air-conditioned rooms, use air purifiers if available
• People with already diagnosed respiratory problems should use N95 masks when stepping out
• While travelling in cars, roll up the windows
• Avoid places with high-vehicular density
• People with asthma or COPD must take their medicines regularly, even in summer