With air quality of the National Capital plumbing new depths and the resultant pollution level reaching a ‘very poor’ category stage in last two days, the Delhi government has issued an advisory to the residents to prevent children from indulging in outdoor activities.
The government has also asked schools to sensitise parents about the current situation and how exposure to pollution can harm their children’s health.
A directive issued by the Directorate of Education Department of the Delhi Government, reads: “To ensure that the children studying in schools of Delhi are not adversely affected due to the current air quality, all the heads of government, government-aided and unaided recognised schools under Directorate of Education are hereby directed to sensitise the parents of the students about the worrisome air quality situation prevailing in and across Delhi and further appeal them to restrain their children from undertaking outdoor activities till severe pollution condition persists.”
The government has stated that outdoor activities and exposure to polluted atmosphere could have long term detrimental effects on the health of the children. Therefore, parents may be requested to adopt a preventive approach to safeguard their child's health including using masks.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "The Delhi Government will distribute at least 50 lakh masks, free of cost, to the students of both government-run and private schools in Delhi from November 1. The government will distribute 50 lakh free N95 anti-pollution masks to nearly 16 lakh students and each student will be given two masks.”
Delhi and its nearby areas such as Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Faridabad have witnessed a spike in air pollution post-Diwali.
At 11 AM on Thursday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) for most places in Delhi stood at 'hazardous' category. It is expected that the high wind speed will help in flushing out and disperse pollutants.