Schools across the country are in a celebratory mood owing to nationwide celebrations of Children's Day. However, the air in Delhi is engulfed with heavy air pollution and smog. All government schools in Delhi would shift to online classes from Monday, November 15, and all government offices would function in work from home model. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal passed the order for government offices for seven days.
The Central Pollution Control Board declared that the overall Air Quality Index of Delhi was 427. AQI readings over 400 are considered 'severe' or 'hazardous'.
100% Work From Home For Government Offices
The order mentioned that construction work that contributes heavily towards dust and micro-pollutants in the air would only be shut for four more days, from November 14 to 17."For a week from Monday onwards, schools will be physically closed (they can continue virtually) so children don't have to breathe polluted air. Construction activities will not be allowed between November 14 and 17. Government offices will operate from home (WFH) at 100 per cent capacity for a week. Private offices will be issued an advisory to go for the WFH option as much as possible", NDTV reported the CM as saying..
High Concentration Of Particulate Matter In The Air
Thousands in and around the National Capital Region burst fire-crackers against the violation of guidelines from the Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments. The level of pollutants in the Delhi air has a high concentration of PM 2.5 particles. The increased particulate matter in the air can result in several cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases like lung cancer. Stubble burning by farmers in neighbouring Punjab has contributed to rising pollution levels in the capital region for the last few years.
The Effect On Children
According to a study by the Lung Care Foundation and Pulmocare Research and Education (PURE) Foundation, one in three children in Delhi suffers from asthma or airflow obstruction compared to 22.6 percent children in Karnataka's Mysuru and Kerala's Kottayam, thanks to air pollution.
In the national capital, 52.8 percent school children reported sneezing, 44.9 percent reported itchy watery eyes, 38.4 percent reported significant cough, 33 percent reported itchy rash, 31.5 percent reported shortness of breath, 11.2 percent reported chest tightness, and 8.75 percent reported eczema.