Delhi residents worry about toxic mix of pollution, COVID-19

Kataria by Sunil and Arora Neha

NEW DELHI (Reuters) — Delhi families with pre-existing health problems, including asthma, are kept on oxygen cylinder and pulse oxymeters, afraid the area will be more prone to coronavirus owing to a decline of air quality.

The emissions levels in October have risen to their worst in two years , following months of comparatively safe air because of the lockout put on the outbreak, because farmers burn wheat stubble in the nearby countries and cooler weather conditions.

On Friday the air pollution index was 235, which amounted to 500. Hung over 18 million residents.

The 45-year-old Ropesh Gupta, who healed from a COVID-19 coronaviral disease, recorded becoming asthmatic and having trouble breathing polluted air in the area.

"I can't either walk or get from the bed. It takes me a breathing effort, even though I want to get out of the building," he said.

In COVID-19 he lost his mum, so his anguish is strong.

His mom, Neelam Gupta told Reuters in their residence in a congested suburb of Delhi to the west, that "paranoia is never known from what source we might get infection in our home again."

In order to monitor oxygen levels per day, the family has purchased 15 kg oxygen cylinder for emergencies and an oxidized handheld pulse meter.

They also plan to store air purifiers held by most well-to-do families in Delhi, one of the polluted cities in the country.

The air quality index ( AQI), since the sluggish wind speeds allow deadly contaminants such as PM2.5, to stay suspended in the air, has stayed within "very bad" category over the week.

The likelihood of COVID-19 catching increase dramatically, Vivek Nangia, Leader and Head of Max Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi said, "Air contamination would decrease the respiratory tract and compromise the work of the lung.

India has just crossed 7.37 million on Friday behind the United States in terms of coronavirus cases.

Delhi, with 321,031 events, is one of the hot spots.

($1 = 73,3232 rupees of Indian)

(Neha Arora's report; Mike Collett-White's and Sanjeev's editing)