Double whammy for Delhi: Air worsens, in threat of becoming ‘corona capital’

The city recorded the concentration of poisonous PM 2.5 particles, at 370 per cubic metre of air, exceeding World Health Organisation's safe limit of 25 per cubic metre

The IMD said that the cold wave will prevail over many places of Delh-NCR between January 16 and 18. File photo

Delhi is grappling with two crises: rising Covid cases and deteriorating air quality. On a day when Delhi recorded its most toxic air quality in a year, it recieved a warning from the Delhi High Court that the city might soon become the ‘corona capital’ of the country.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said the Delhi government has gone ‘haywire’ on the pandemic. It was hearing petitions relating to non-payment of salaries to North Delhi Municipal Corporation doctors, paramedical staff, safai karamcharis, teachers, retired engineers, and others.
The high court said the Delhi government made many claims that it is ramping up testing, but the number of cases is rising nevertheless.
“The city could soon become the corona capital of the country. Thanks to the number of cases shooting up,” the bench said and added, “We are going to take it very seriously.”
Adding to Delhi’s health woes is the deteroriating air quality. The city recorded the concentration of poisonous PM 2.5 particles, said to cause serious respitory illness and even lung cancer, at 370 per cubic metre of air, exceeding the World Health Organization’s safe limit of 25 per cubic metre, Reuters reported.
Delhi’s worsening air quality can be ascribed to traffic pollution, burning of stubble, and bursting of crackers during festive season. “At this time in Delhi, coronavirus and pollution are causing a major havoc,” Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s chief minister said in a video on Twitter. “We are seeing all round the sky is covered with smoke, and because of this the situation from coronavirus is worsening.”