As the air quality remained in the 'severe' category in several parts of the city, the state government ordered all primary schools to remain closed and barred outdoor activities for children in the wake of the pollution. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who described Delhi as a "gas chamber", reviewed the situation in a meeting with health and environment officials.
The Delhi government is "prepared" to re-launch its odd-even transport scheme and restrict trucks from entering the city in the case of an "emergency," deputy CM Manish Sisodia said. The government also issued a health advisory for residents of the capital, especially children, the elderly and those suffering from asthma and heart ailments. "We appeal to the people of Delhi to avoid morning and evening walks," Sisodia had said yesterday.
Due to dense smog,18 vehicles slammed into each other on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura due to poor visibility . Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has directed the government to stop entry of truck traffic into Delhi. Only trucks carrying essential commodities will be allowed. The Centre has asked the Delhi Metro to increase the frequency of trains to encourage people to use public transport in the wake of heightened pollution levels. Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri asked DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh to deploy additional ticketing operators and customer facilitation agents to make metro travel easier for commuters, the ministry spokesperson said.
The Delhi government has advised Delhiites to avoid personal transport. It has issued health advisory urging people to use carpooling and and public transport, stay indoors, and not to smoke.
"Keep the environment healthy, not only by words, but also by your actions. If you feel irritation in the throat and nose, take steam and do salt water gargles. Drink plenty of warm water and maintain good hydration. "If any time you are feeling breathlessness or palpitation, immediately go to nearest medical facility. Do not smoke, as it harms not only you but others also," the advisory said.
As air pollution reached alarming levels in the national capital, there was a spurt in fresh cases in hospitals and conditions of patients with history of asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) and cardio-vascular diseases deteriorated. While people were seen wearing masks to protect themselves outdoors, the city hospitals witnessed a surge in the number of patients complaining of respiratory problems with doctors saying some may develop life-threatening conditions.