New Delhi: This week, pollution-related ailments have forced 44 per cent of families in Delhi-NCR to visit a doctor or hospital, a survey by LocalCircles has revealed, doubling the 22 per cent figure registered in another survey last week by the same community platform.
The National Capital Region has been engulfed in smog for about two weeks, and the air quality index (AQI) has ranged between 300 to 1,000 across the five cities that make up the NCR — Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad.
The fresh survey asked residents how they or their family members are dealing with the air pollution. In response, 33 per cent said “one or more of us have visited a doctor”, and 11 per cent said “one or more of us have visited a doctor and a hospital”.
In all, 86 per cent of respondents said someone in their family is experiencing one or more ailments due to polluted air. These ailments include breathing difficulty, congestion, cough, sore throat, burning eyes, etc.
Thirty-two per cent of respondents said they had sore throat, cough, congestion or burning eyes, while 7 per cent said they were suffering from headache or sleep disruption. Twenty per cent said they had trouble breathing.
Will a lockdown help?
The survey also asked if the residents of Delhi-NCR support the idea to implement a three-day complete lockdown with immediate effect, given the hazardous air quality.
In response, 48 per cent said yes, and 52 per cent said no.
Numerous ‘no’ respondents expressed that since the primary contributor to high AQI is stubble burning, implementing a lockdown in Delhi will not help much.
Those in favour of a lockdown believe that while stubble burning pollution is something that can’t be done away with in a very short period of time, limiting vehicles and other activities like construction etc. will largely help in reducing pollution.
(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)