New Delhi schools closed for a week due to air pollution

New Delhi schools closed for a week due to air pollution

Authorities in New Delhi on Saturday (11/13) announced the closure of schools for a week. They said they would consider a lockdown to protect residents from toxic smog.

“Schools will be closed so that children do not have to breathe polluted air,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told reporters.

Delhi is ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the world, with a dangerous mix of factory and vehicle emissions and smoke from agricultural fires.

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On Saturday (13/11), the Supreme Court suggested imposing a lockdown on Delhi to tackle the air quality crisis.

“How would we live otherwise? said Chief Justice NV Ramana.

Kejriwal said his government would consider the court’s suggestion after consulting with stakeholders.

“A pollution lockdown is unprecedented. It would be an extreme measure,” he said.

Kejriwal said construction activities would be halted for four days to reduce dust at the large open site.

Government offices are required to operate from home and private companies are advised to stick with the option of working from home as much as possible.

On Friday (12/11), the Central Pollution Control Commission advised authorities to prepare for the implementation of measures falling under the emergency category. He added that the poor air quality would likely last until at least November 18.

On Saturday 13/11, the level of PM 2.5 particles – the smallest and most dangerous, which can enter the bloodstream – reached 300 on the air quality index. This is 20 times the maximum daily limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Times of India reported that the hospital has reported a sharp increase in the number of patients complaining of difficulty breathing.

“We see 12 to 14 patients every day for emergencies, mainly at night when symptoms cause sleep disturbances and panic,” said Suranjit Chatterjee of Apollo Hospitals.

The Delhi government has promised for years to purify the city’s air.

The incineration of agricultural waste in neighboring Delhi – a major contributor to the city’s pollution levels each winter – has continued despite a Supreme Court ban.

The number of farmland fires this season is the highest in four years, according to government data. (AFP / OL-1)


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