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As the air quality of the national capital deteriorated following the festival of Diwali, Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute on Friday said the pollution levels are dangerous for the elderly people as well as COVID recovered patients.

Speaking to ANI, Dr Seth said, "These are really dangerous levels. AQI (Air Quality Index) levels are especially dangerous 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. We see a lot of these happening when pollution rises.

"So elderly are at the biggest risk. Also, pollution is to be known for the inflammation of the heart arteries. This results in the precipitation of blood clotting leading to increased heart attacks and worsening of Angina," he added.

Asked about the effect of air pollution to COVID recovered patients, Dr Seth said, "People who recovered from COVID are vulnerable to this (air pollution). Of this group, a lot of them got residue lung problems from minor to major. The toxic gases and particles affect the lungs directly."

COVID recovered patients, too, are vulnerable. This is the time for the elderly to stay indoors, be flu-vaccinated and use air purifiers at home continuously."

The air quality in the national capital reached the 'hazardous' category on Friday morning, following the festival of Diwali. The concentrations of Pollution Meter (PM) 2.5 stood at 655.07 in Janpath on Friday morning.

As a thick blanket of smog shrouds the skies of Delhi, several people complained of itchy throat and watery eyes.

Despite the Delhi government's ban on firecrackers, several people were seen bursting crackers on street on the occasion of Diwali, contributing to the degradation of the air quality, amid increased contribution from farm fires.

As per the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the air quality would not improve until Sunday evening (November 7). The improvement would, however, just fluctuate in the 'Very Poor' category. 

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