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Delhi smog: Health Ministry issues advisory, urges residents to stay indoors

In view of the alarming levels of air pollution in Delhi, the Health Ministry on Wednesday issued an advisory, asking citizens to drink plenty of water and avoid areas with smoke or heavy dust, among other measures.

Outlining a list of preventive measures, the Health Ministry also urged the citizens not to step outside in case of breathing difficulty and advised keeping children indoors as much as possible.

The advisory further recommended medical assistance in case of difficulty in breathing, increase in breathing rate, palpitations or a severe bout of coughing and/or sneezing.

Citizens are also advised to avoid morning walk or any other strenuous outdoor activity that increases breathing rate, avoid smoking, avoid the areas with smoke or heavy dust, and minimize the use of deodorants and room sprays as much as possible, the Health Ministry advisory said.

If you have any heart ailments or chronic respiratory disease or asthma, continue your medication as advised by the physician, added the advisory.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sent a letter to chief ministers of neighbouring states- Punjab and Haryana, urging them to work jointly to resolve the air pollution issue.

“We have to jointly work to resolve such issues in a spirit of mutual cooperation in larger public interest to improve the air quality. One of the main reasons for air pollution in the national capital is the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana,” the letter read.

He also urged the chief ministers of the two states to conduct a meeting in the coming days to discuss the issue.

“You are aware of the poor air quality in Delhi. It has become difficult to breathe. Delhi has become a gas chamber and I had to order the closure of the schools here to save lives of the young children from adverse effects of the air pollution,” the letter said.

Kejriwal also blamed the states for their failure in curbing the problem of stubble burning.

“Farmers are helpless. In the absence of any economically viable alternative, they are forced to burn stubbles,” the letter stated.

A thick layer of smog canopied the national capital earlier this morning leading to hazardous pollution levels.

Delhi has long been battling the problem of air pollution. Recently, the stubble burning by farmers in nearby states of Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan are also speculated to have added to the factors causing pollution, along with bursting of crackers on Diwali.

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