Warning Against School Sports, Marathon As Delhi Pollution Triggers Alarm

Listing seven measures to tackle the air pollution crisis, the Indian Medical Association or IMA has called for declaring a health emergency in Delhi and surrounding areas.

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Warning Against School Sports, Marathon As Delhi Pollution Triggers Alarm

Air pollution in Delhi has been very high over the past few days, the IMA has warned.

New Delhi:  At least two schools in Delhi have sent out letters to parents, saying they are suspending outdoor activities for a few days while the national capital grapples with high levels of air pollution. The Indian Medical Association, a body of medical professionals, has issued an advisory warning of 'disastrous health consequences' due to an AQI or Air Quality Index reading of over 300 for the past few days. An AQI reading of 50 or below is considered good by most doctors.

"Dear Parents, please note that due to high pollution levels/unfavourable weather conditions in Delhi, morning sports practice has been suspended for a few days," Sanskriti School told parents. The Shri Ram School also issued a similar notice.

Listing seven measures it deems necessary to tackle the crisis, the IMA said in a statement, "This situation cannot be allowed to continue like this. Immediate emergency measures are needed."
 
air pollution

Residents in Delhi have complained of eyes watering and aggravated coughs amid increased levels of air pollution.

Declaring a health emergency in Delhi and surrounding areas, suspending outdoor activities in schools when AQI crosses 250 and closing them altogether when it exceeds 450 were among the steps.

"Permissions for sporting events like cricket matches, football matches, marathons etc should not be given when AQI levels are high," it added.

Last month, the Supreme Court had banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi, which already ranks among the world's most polluted cities, ahead of Diwali. Though reports said air quality was better than last year, pollution levels in the capital hit 18 times the healthy limit a night after the festival as many dodged the ban.

Residents complained of eyes watering and aggravated coughs as levels of PM 2.5, tiny particulate matter that reaches deep into the lungs, rose alarmingly.

India tops deaths from pollution globally, according to The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, with 25 lakh Indians dying early in 2015 because of pollution.

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The health ministry's data shows that respiratory issues killed about 10 people per day in the year ended March 2017 in the National Capital Region.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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