Delhi

Cancel outdoor activities in schools, IMA tells Delhi govt as air quality index worsens

Uphill task: A cyclist wears a mask as protection against air pollution in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday appealed to Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia to stop all outdoor sports and other activities in schools due to hazardous levels of air pollution prevalent in the city.

In the appeal, IMA national president K. K. Aggarwal said: “The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi-NCR has recently ranged from “poor” to “very poor” to “severe”. Due to this, even healthy persons may experience some level of discomfort upon exposure to such high levels of pollution.”

He added that children are especially at risk and it must be ensured that they are not exposed to the pollution for a prolonged time.

Several schools in the city have traditionally scheduled their sports days and outdoor activities near Children’s Day to take advantage of the cooler weather. The IMA, however, has advised that when the AQI crosses 200, the time spent outdoors should be restricted and all outdoor activities in schools should be cancelled.

Hard to breathe

Pollutant       Monday      Tuesday (forecast)
PM10 283 (Poor)  305 (Poor)
PM2.5170 (Very Poor)183 (Very Poor)

Standards:

PM10 - 100 micrograms per cubic metre

PM2.5 - 60 micrograms per cubic metre 

Source: SAFAR 

The association said that since the lungs of children as still growing, they are more prone to harmful effects of air pollution as kids who play or exercise outdoors need more oxygen so they take in more polluted air into their lungs, which hampers the growth of their lungs leading to breathing problems later in life.

Several private schools in the city have already stopped conducting outdoor assemblies in the morning and have sent messages to parents informing them that all outdoor activities have been cancelled. Parents have also started making their children wear masks during their commute to school in the morning.

Marathon on Nov 19

The IMA also appealed to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to cancel the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, scheduled to be held on November 19.

The IMA has said that the poor air quality may have “disastrous health consequences”, even for healthy runners. “It can trigger asthma attacks and worsen lung diseases.”


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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 12:21:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/cancel-outdoor-activities-in-schools/article19994602.ece

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