Home/ News / India/  ‘Medical emergency in Delhi-NCR’: Expert warns as pneumonia, chest infection cases surge

The air quality in national capital Delhi remained poor and the National Capital region stayed ‘severe’. At such a time reports have emerged that increasing number of people have been reporting pneumonia and other chest infections in the Delhi-NCR. Several people with chest infection have also been admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at various hospitals . 

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city stood at 354. Noida, which is part of the national capital region, slipped to an AQI of 406, and continued to remain in the 'severe' category, while Gurugram's AQI stood at 346 and continued to remain in the 'very poor category.

Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered as good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 too 500 or above it is considered as severe.

Chairman of the Institute of Chest Surgery at Medanta Hospital, Dr Arvind Kumar told news agency ANI that such a  situation qualifies as a ‘medical emergency’. "This is a medical emergency as people are affected by short-term and long-term impacts of the pollution. You are immediately affected when the lungs are exposed to this air," Chairman of the Institute of Chest Surgery at Medanta Hospital, Dr Arvind Kumar told ANI on Wednesday.

Dr Kumar further said that as the smoke goes inside the chest, it causes immediate acute inflammation in the windpipe and lungs; followed by these toxic chemicals getting absorbed from the lungs and reaching the blood. They then move everywhere from head to toe thus affecting every organ, he added.

He further said that the hospital reporting huge numbers of people complaining about chest infections and pneumonia proves that the pollution is at its peak.

The most common sufferings reported due to the pollution are- sore throat and eyes, burning in eyes, red eyes, watering eyes, dry-itchy eyes, burning sensations in the nose, and a metallic taste at the lips, he added.

Delhi's air quality improved marginally on Wednesday morning owing to relatively better meteorological conditions, with the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) saying there is no immediate need to implement curbs, such as a ban on the entry of trucks and a closure of educational institutions.

The air quality is likely to improve further on the back of stronger winds from Thursday, forecasters said.

Medanata chairman further put forth the long-term effects of the pollution on a child's brain stating that it could make them "hyper-irritable".

"Long-term effects on the brain make the children hyper-irritable. I think it's neuro-inflammation because of the toxins from the pollutants. In elderly people, it can increase the risk of stroke by 10 times," he said.

A little less poor air quality in Delhi's satellite cities gave some respite to the people, but it is only a relative term from the previous day.

Delhi slipped into 'severe' on the AQI meter on Saturday. With air pollution worsening in the national capital, Delhi authorities halted all construction work and demolition activities till further orders.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi on Wednesday stood at 376 at 9 am.

Due to unfavorable meteorological conditions with slower wind speed and sudden spike in farm fire incidents, it was considered necessary to implement Stage III of GRAP with immediate effect in the entire NCR. 

The CAQM appealed to the citizens to cooperate in implementing GRAP and follow the steps mentioned in the Citizen Charter under GARP. Apart from that, a 9-point action plan as per Stage III of GRAP was made applicable in the entire NCR.

A CAQM official told PTI on Wednesday that there is no immediate need for implementing the curbs under the fourth stage as forecasts suggest an improvement in the air quality in the coming days.

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Updated: 02 Nov 2022, 05:46 PM IST
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