The Shri Ram School has announced the dismissal of physical classes in Delhi and Haryana owing to the rising levels of air pollution. Classes will be held online as the air quality in the said regions has severely deteriorated in the last few days. According to Republic's sources, the physical classes will resume from Monday with the mandatory rule of N95 masks for both students and staff.
The announcement of class dismissal came after experts warned that prolonged exposure to toxic air in the morning can lead to chronic respiratory and other health problems.
Delhi's air quality is under the 'severe' category as the AQI stood at 426 as of Thursday morning. An AQI of above 400 is considered 'severe' and can affect healthy people and seriously impact those with existing illnesses. On the other hand, AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 to 100 "satisfactory", 101 to 200 "moderate", 201 to 300 "poor", and 301 to 400 "very poor".
Cities namely Alipur (439), Ashok Vihar (444), Bawana (456), Burari (443), Mathura Road (412), DTU (436), Dwarka (408), ITO (435), Mundka (438), Narela (447), Nehru Nagar (433), Patparganj (441), Rohini (453), Sonia Vihar (444), Vivek Vihar (444) and Wazirpur (444) were reported with the worst air qualities.
Apart from Haryana, the increasing pollution levels in Delhi are being accredited to the farm fire incidents in Punjab. As many as 3,634 farm fires were reported in the state, which is the highest this year, per the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). SAFAR, a forecasting agency under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, had earlier said stubble burning accounted for 32% of the PM2.5 pollution in Delhi. PM2.5 are fine particles that have diameters measuring 2.5 micrometers or less and can travel deep into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs and entering the bloodstream.
(With PTI inputs)