(ORDO NEWS) — Indian officials are considering a lockdown in New Delhi as pollution levels soar in the city.
Authorities have ordered schools to close to keep children away from air pollution and are considering introducing short-term isolation to reduce pollution.
Air quality has gotten so bad that officials from the country’s supreme court over the weekend ordered authorities to stop all non-essential road travel in the country’s metropolitan area and ordered offices in the area to close. As a result, tens of millions of people worked from home on Monday. However, it remained unclear whether an unprecedented lockdown would occur.
Schools across New Delhi, home to more than 20 million people, closed or switched to distance learning on Monday due to the risk of inhaling toxic air. For many children, the transition to distance learning came shortly after in-person learning resumed for the first time in nearly 20 months due to COVID-19.
Delhi’s National Capital Territory Chief Minister Kejriwal said the pollution lockdown would not have a significant impact unless similar measures were taken by neighboring states. “Blocking pollution has never happened before. This will be an extreme step, ”he said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hazardous particles in the air can enter through a person’s lungs and enter their bloodstream. Chronic exposure to these particles increases the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as lung cancer.
In early 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began, strict isolation was introduced in India, resulting in significant improvements in air quality. As a result, the sky cleared, and people were able to enjoy beautiful views that have not been seen in 30 years.
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