Delhi’s 20 million residents are facing a double health crisis, as high levels of pollution seem to exacerbate the coronavirus epidemic.
In the past week, the twin threat has been hanging over the city. After trying to contain fresh daily infections last month, the city witnessed its worst epidemic so far, with the highest rise in a single day on Tuesday, reaching 7,830 cases.
It is also incredible that in the past week, catastrophic pollution has wrapped the city in a toxic cover, which according to doctors will weaken people’s lungs and make them more susceptible to virus infection.
Pollution is a repeat of last year̵
Dense fog blurs the city skyline. Residents complained of smart eyes, coughing and difficulty breathing. The doctor advised everyone, if possible, to stay indoors, especially children and the elderly.
In the home, even the most powerful air purifier, the red “alarm” light is always flashing. It may take some time to reduce dangerous pollution to a tolerable level, and it will only come out again if someone opens the door or window.
The causes of pollution are the same as last year and previous years: vehicle emissions, waste burning, construction dust, and crop residue burning in neighboring states. The weather without enough wind to spread the pollutants makes the situation worse.
Ashish Narang, a civil servant, took no risks for a week. “Due to the pandemic, we have been locked indoors, but we can at least walk with masks, but we can’t do that now. If the lungs have been blackened and damaged by pollution, how can our lungs resist the virus ?” he asks.
Despite the crisis, the New Delhi government did not announce that it was disturbed or panicked, except for announcing a ban on setting off firecrackers, which is the tradition of Diwali (Saturday’s Diwali).
No minister in Narendra Modi’s government has made any comments on the poor air quality.
The hospital said that the number of people complaining about respiratory diseases has increased. Dr. Vivek Nangia, Director of the Institute of Respiratory and Critical Care at Max Hospital, said: “Intensified pollution has increased respiratory problems by nearly 25%.” Due to the severe shortage of Covid beds, he said that the hospital is handling these cases through telephone consultation or outpatient departments.
Studies have shown that lungs weakened by pollution are more susceptible to coronavirus infection, indicating that the city is facing a double disaster. The number of viruses has been on the rise, and the New Delhi government has not shown signs of being able to control them.
This shocked the residents, because the city’s daily infections had dropped to about 2500 last month, and it seemed that the crisis had turned into peace. The quarantine center is empty and the hospital beds are very convenient. The worst case seems to be over.
The restrictions were relaxed and everything changed. The market is crowded with shoppers, most wearing masks but no social distancing. Diwali is likely to see more movement and social events.
The hospital complained of a severe shortage of beds, and the story once again forced many families to drive around in search of hospital beds.
According to the Indian Medical Association, 13% of recent Covid cases in the city are related to air pollution.