They also advised that schools should avoid outdoor assemblies, sports activities, and other physical activities in the early morning hours.
New Delhi: A day after Diwali as the city’s air quality plummeted to the ‘severe’ category on Monday for the first time this season, health experts advised that people must avoid early morning and late evening walks as concentration of pollutants is the highest during this period. They also advised that schools should avoid outdoor assemblies, sports activities, and other physical activities in the early morning hours.
According to Dr Deepak Verma, the expert of internal medicine at the Columbia Asia Hospital, burn injuries and allergic reactions to pollutants cause the maximum number of ailments after Diwali celebrations get over.
Health experts suggested prioritising cleaning of rooms used for sleeping, using air purifier, and sealing windows to prevent outdoor pollutants from coming inside. They suggested the use of plants like aloe vera and ivy inside homes for purifying the air.
They also suggested avoiding driving personal cars, scooters, and other motorised vehicles and opt for shared rides or public transportation to work. This will prevent adding to the existing high levels of pollution, they said.
The Integrated Health and Wellbeing Council has launched a movement, ‘MakingIndiaBreathe,’ urging people to rethink about ways of celebration to reduce air pollution.
“Through one of our initiatives of the #MakingIndiaBreathe movement, we are asking people to re-think about responsible ways of celebrations that can reduce air pollution. Also, we should try reducing the usage of one-time plastic, plug food wastage, and look at ways of eco-friendly immersion of idols. We can celebrate differently to win over the evil of pollution,” said the CEO of Integrated Health and Wellbeing Council, Kamal Narayan.
Dr Sandeep Chadha, the consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital, warned that air pollution is particularly harmful to unborn children during pregnancy and it has negative effects on both mother and foetus.
“The intake of every 22 micrograms per cubic metre of polluted air is equivalent to smoking a cigarette. So whether the PM2.5 level is 700 or 300 units, the impact is still as bad. People should not get complacent that the air quality has improved, as the improvement is not absolute but only relative,” said Dr Arvind Kumar, lung surgeon at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.