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Delhi smog: Number of patients with breathing problems increases

There is an urgent need to help people to breathe better.

The alarming pollution in Delhi has led to at least 20 percent increase in the number of persons complaining of cardiac/respiratory problems this week, officials said on Thursday. "There have been around 15 to 20 percent increase in a number of patients seeking treatment for respiratory and cardiac issues," All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria told IANS. Similarly, Safdarjung Hospital witnessed a 15 percent rise in a number of patients while Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj area recorded 25 percent increase in patients with breathing problems.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital had on Wednesday indicated a rise in a number of such patients by 25-30 percent. The city has witnessed record pollution levels, including smog, affecting normal life and leading to the closure of educational institutions in Delhi till Sunday. The Central Pollution Control Board data indicated average Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi on Tuesday at 446 -- with major pollutant PM 2.5, or particles with a diameter less than 2.5 mm, recorded at 418 units. It was the worst AQI after 403 recorded for October 20, a day after Diwali. Read here Smog in Delhi - Rujuta Diwekar recommends home remedies to beat ill effects of air pollution

Speaking to reporters earlier, the AIIMS Director had warned that about 30,000 persons may lose their lives in the National Capital Region alone due to current pollution levels, numbers which, he said, he had extrapolated from the number of hospital admissions. Guleria also likened the current environmental situation in Delhi with the "Great Smog of London in 1952" that was "estimated to have killed nearly 4,000 persons within a week". Did you know Air pollution and smog in Delhi: 5 other Indian cities that have deadly RSPM levels (NAMP report)

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Source: IANS

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