Delhi’s Air Hits ‘Hazardous’ Levels

Delhi, India, is currently suffering under what the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies as ‘hazardous’ air quality levels.

As Statista’s Martinm Armstrong reports, data collated by IQAir for the city show how dangerously high the levels of PM2.5 (atmospheric particulate matter that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers) has become in the last two days – rising significantly above the already (very) unhealthy level recorded on most days over the last few weeks. According to the WHO, ambient air pollution is estimated to have caused 4.2 million premature deaths globally in 2019.

Infographic: Delhi's Air Hits 'Hazardous' Levels | Statista

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Some schools were forced to close on Friday and non-essential construction was banned in the city.

Quoted by The Guardian, Nikhil Modi, a doctor at Apollo hospital in Delhi, gave a picture of the immediate consequences of the situation:

“The number of patients with breathing problems has increased, with more people having coughs, colds, watery and irritated eyes, and breathing problems.”, warning, “people of all ages are affected by this. It is time for us to wear masks and go out only when needed.”

As reported by Reuters, regional officials have cited “a seasonal combination of lower temperatures, a lack of wind and crop stubble burning in neighboring farm states” as exacerbating the already dire situation and causing a spike in air pollutants.

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