As of Wednesday, October 24, air pollution remains at a "very poor" level in New Delhi, the fourth-worst level on the official Air Quality Index six-tier scale. The current uptick in air pollutant levels, first reported in mid-October, is due to a reduction in wind speeds and low temperatures, coupled with crop burning in neighboring states.
Authorities warn of potential health hazards associated with periods of high pollution, notably for certain vulnerable groups - e.g. children, seniors, pregnant women, and people suffering from asthma and other respiratory issues. Air pollution can also be harmful to cardiac health and increase risk of heart attack or stroke, particularly among high-risk individuals (e.g. those with preexisting heart conditions).
Delhi is notoriously one of the world's most polluted cities. India has faced criticism for high levels of air pollution in both urban centers and rural areas due to crop burning and other open fires, vehicle and industrial emissions, and dust from construction. Plummeting air quality is typical around the month of November due to an increase in agricultural fires.
Individuals present in the Delhi region are advised to monitor the air quality situation, limit outdoor activity during periods of peak pollution, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities. Do not hesitate to seek medical attention if experiencing breathing difficulties or other health concerns.
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