The sudden change in weather conditions is proving to be life-threatening for Delhiites, particularly the elderly. Persistentsmoggy weather has increased their vulnerability to asthmatic attacks and other respiratory illness. Doctors said asthma cases have gone up by 20 per cent as compared to previous year.
“Every year, I have to be extra cautious. But this year, the weather has changed suddenly. The level of pollution and dust has also increased. I feel restless throughout the day,” said Rohit Singh, a patient who suffered a severe asthmatic attack.
Uncontrolled burning of paddy stubbles recently by Punjab farmers has badly affected the weather in the Capital. According to experts, the Delhi-NCR region is the worst hit. Weather experts admitted that the city’s geographical and wind pattern conditions have a considerable role to play. “For the last three days, the atmosphere has stabilised and an easterly wind is prevailing over the whole Indo-Gangetic plain bringing in moisture and dust. Winds are very light which ensures that all the pollutants hang in the air at really low, breathable levels. Delhi is gradually moving towards winters and smog is typical of that,” Indian Meteorological Department director, BP Yadav, told MAIL TODAY.
Burning of paddy stubble not only reduces visibility but also leads to breathing problems.
Doctors in the city have witnessed a spike in the numbers of cases of respiratory illness by 20 per cent. Cases of viral infection, cough, sneezing, respiratory tract infection and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have gone up. “The numbers of cases of respiratory illness have gone up by 20 per cent. Even on Tuesday, there was a lot of smog in the air, majorly due to the paddy burned in nearby states. Also, within a week, the number of cases will go up. With Diwali coming up, the level of pollution will also increase. We are worried as the situation is going to be worst after Diwali,” Dr JC Suri, Professor and Head of Pulmonary Medicine at Safdarjung hospital told MAIL TODAY.
“The pollution level has suddenly increased in the last few days. Cases have started to come early as compared to last year. Also, it is expected that the level of pollution will be higher this year, which will have an adverse affect on people’s health,” Dr Raj Kumar, head of department, department of pulmonology, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute told MAIL TODAY.