New Delhi: The national capital on Saturday recorded ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ air quality at several places, as Delhi continues to remain engulfed in a blanket of smog. Also Read - Delhi Pollution: 23 Anti-smog Guns Installed Across City to Combat Dust Pollution

According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data today, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was at 424 (severe) in Anand Vihar, at 328 (very poor) in IGI Airport area, 400 (very poor) in ITO, and 354 (very poor) in RK Puram. Also Read - Air Quality Dips to 'Very Poor' in Delhi as Layer of Haze Lingers in The Sky

An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101- 200 is moderate, 201- 300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor and 401-500 is considered severe. According to experts, the severe category affects the health of people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted the Air Quality Index (AQI) of the national capital to slip in the ‘severe’ category on Diwali.

“Presently Delhi’s Air Quality is very poor and is expected to go worse to severe on Diwali. It can be worse if there are additional emissions. AQI will improve after Diwali and there are chances of drizzle and rain on November 15,” Dr VK Soni, Head, Environment and Research Centre of IMD said.

“During this period the meteorological conditions are not favourable for good dispersion of air pollutants and further there will be little additional emission from firecrackers and traffic. Although the government has taken a lot of steps to control air pollution, still these external emissions will impact negatively,” he added.

In a bid to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from worsening owing to poor air quality, the National Green Tribunal imposed a total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in the National Capital Region from midnight of November 9 to midnight of November 30.

The visibility in the national capital has reduced due to the presence of a high level of smog in the air. As per health experts, people who are suffering from asthma or other respiratory ailments should prefer working from home.