Health Emergency in Delhi: Schools will remain shut until 5th of November

Today, a Supreme Court panel declared public health emergency in Delhi owing to the deteriorating air quality which is hovering around 500 mark with several location it. Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s CM (Chief Minister) announced that schools in Delhi will remain closed until 5th of November owing to the high pollution level. 

Adding to this, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has declared that until 5th of November all the construction activities in Delhi and NCR including Greater Noida should be halted.

According to the Air Quality Index (AQI), if the air quality mark surpasses 500 then it is considered as ‘Severe-plus emergency’. If the AQI is between 0-50 it is considered ‘good’, between 51-100 is ‘satisfactory’, between 101-200 is said to be ‘moderate’, between 201-300 is considered ‘very poor’, and between 401-500 is ‘severe’.

Delhi’s air quality has been hovering in between sever and at some places even crossed to severe-plus emergency since the past 3-4 days, being exposed to this air quality for long can cause lung damage, skin problems, breathing difficulties and other health issues, especially amid youngsters and elderly population.

Bhure Lal, EPCA Chairperson wrote a letter to the Chief Secretaries of UP, Delhi, and Haryana wherein he said ‘We have to take this as a public health emergency as air pollution will have adverse health impact on all, particularly our children’.

In the meantime, South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s education department has already asked close to 600 schools to not run on Monday, i.e. 4th of November due to ‘prevailing poor air quality’. The order stated ‘Due to prevailing poor air quality (smog) in GNCTD, competent authority has ordered closure of all schools run/aided/recognised by SDMC on Monday, i.e. November 4’.

Earlier today, Kejriwal himself distributed pollution masks to school children plus ordered to distribute lakhs more. He tweeted ‘Delhi has turned into a gas chamber due to smoke from crop burning in neighbouring states. It is very imp that we protect ourselves from this toxic air. Through pvt & govt schools, we have started distributing 50 lakh masks today. I urge all Delhiites to use them whenever needed’.

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