New Delhi, Nov 3 | The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has advised caution and avoidance of non-essential travel to lower exposure to pollution, and appealed organisations to allow their employees remote modes of working.
It also urged parents to cut outside exposure time for children. The Delhi government has already announced closure of schools.
“Public and private organisations in Delhi/NCR should allow people to work from their homes,” said Ajay Mathur, TERI Director General.
Hospitals are reporting 15-20 per cent increase in number of patients complaining asthma like symptoms due to the dangerous levels of pollution in Delhi NCR.
In the past 10 days, there had been 15-20 per cent increase in number of patients complaining respiratory discomfort, said Karan Madan, Associate Professor, Department of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, AIIMS.
The pollution had necessitated increase in the prescribed dosage and even hospitalisation in case of existing respiratory problems or asthma patients, he said.
Even healthy people with no pre-existing respiratory issues were complaining of burning eyes, itching in throat, coughing, breathing discomfort and symptoms like asthma, Madan said.
Hospitals in the NCR are also reporting increased number of patients.
“We have seen 25-30 per cent increase of respiratory issues in patients. Health conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancers are caused by long-term exposure to pollution. Even the fetus can be affected by pollution. It’s high time that pollution should be controlled and contained, especially in toxic urban areas like Delhi NCR,” said Piyush Goel, pulmonologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurugram.
TERI official DG said it had asked employees in Delhi NCR to work from home on Monday and use e-connectivity. “It’s a small contribution of TERI in controlling pollution in the city as almost 1,000 employees won’t be commuting on Monday. We hope other organisations will also join in this effort to reduce the environmental footprint, and that our collective action will help reduce exposure of people working in Delhi to severely bad air,” he said.
Air pollutant levels in Delhi have been increasing steadily in the past 15 days. It has increased alarmingly during the past few days.
According to TERI, this sharp increase in air pollution in Delhi is mainly attributed to agricultural burning activities in neighbouring states, apart from adverse meteorological conditions.