New Delhi, Nov 7: The Indian Medical Association has declared that Delhi is in public health emergency state as air pollution rose to ‘severe’ on Tuesday and smog engulfed the city. The IMA has written to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal advising that schools should be shut for some time. IMA President Dr KK Aggarwal has also said that people must avoid stepping out.

This came as the average air quality index (AQI) in the national capital hit 396 (very poor). The level of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 was above 300 in many areas in Delhi, which indicates air quality as ‘hazardous’. Reaching an alarming level, PM 10 was at 999 in some areas as indicated on the Air Quality Index website.

Pollution levels in Delhi as on Nov 7 at 11:35 am (aqicn)
Pollution levels in Delhi as on Nov 7 at 11:35 am (aqicn)

The Indian Medical Association has also sought cancellation of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon this year due to the rising level of pollution and deadly smog. The panel has written to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal calling for cancellation of the event that is scheduled for November 19.

Flights, Trains Delayed Due to Smog

Delhi NCR woke up to a thick blanket of smog on Tuesday morning. While people earlier thought of it to be season’s first fog, it was only when they stepped out that they realised it was smog.

The visibility in Delhi came down to as low as 50 metres leading to delay in trains and flights to and from the national capital.

Reports say that the smog is here to stay for another three to four days. It is a cause of concern as it is leading to breathing problems for those living in North India. Many people said they had to skip their morning walks as they just couldn’t breathe outside.

Besides Delhi NCR, thick smog cover engulfed parts of Punjab too on Tuesday morning. People in Amritsar said that they were facing difficulties due to decreased visibility.