Post the Covid 2nd wave, 25% more Delhi NCR families have someone experiencing pollution ailments in 2021 in comparison to 2020
- ● Percentage of families having someone facing breathing difficulty rose from 30% to 48% in last 12 months
- ● If the hazardous air quality persists for few more week, it could impact those with long COVID and vulnerable lungs more this year
November 13, 2021, New Delhi: Delhi-NCR has now experienced over 10 days of toxic air with 4 in 5 families per the LocalCircles survey having someone with symptoms like breathlessness, cough, congestion, burning eyes. 28% of the families according to the survey now have someone at home who has already visited a doctor or a hospital for pollution related ailments. AQI has ranged between 450 – 1000 in all 5 cities i.e. Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad.
The LocalCircles survey conducted earlier in the week which received 34,000+ responses from residents of Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad also indicated that people were relying on purifiers, masks and immunity foods to cope with the pollution. This year is especially tricky for those who got impacted by the lethal 2nd wave of COVID as many took a long time to recover from COVID and some are still struggling with long COVID. Doctors have warned that increasing levels of pollution will have a debilitating effect on those with vulnerable lungs due to COVID. Hospitals in Delhi-NCR cities are already witnessing an increasing number of cases with breathing difficulties.
Percentage of Delhi- NCR families that have someone facing pollution related ailments in the first week of hazardous air quality rose from 65% in 2020 to 80% in 2021
Post Covid, many citizens remain vulnerable to rising levels of pollution. As suggested by doctors, covid directly impacts respiratory systems of patients and the effects can be seen long after one has recovered. Therefore, rising air pollution poses a higher threat to citizens who have recovered or are suffering from Covid. In india, officially over 3 crore citizens have recovered from Covid while there are over 1 lakh active cases. The 2021 survey conducted by LocalCircles revealed that 4 in 5 families in Delhi-NCR are experiencing 1 or more ailments due to polluted air post Diwali in 2021. In 2020, when LocalCircles conducted a similar survey during this time of the year, it was found out that 65% of Delhi-NCR families had someone with 1 or more pollution-related ailments post the first week in 2020. This percentage has increased to 80% in 2021, indicating that almost 25% more families have someone falling sick with various pollution-related ailments in the first week of toxic year in 2021 as compared to 2020.
Percentage of Delhi-NCR families that have someone facing breathing difficulties due to pollution in the first week of hazardous air quality rose from 30% in 2020 to 48% in 2021
In the survey conducted by LocalCircles earlier this week, the percentage of families experiencing “breathing difficulty” has increased from 30% in 2020 to 48% in 2021. The Delta variant of COVID badly impacted the lungs of those infected and that could be one of the reasons that within the first week of pollution many more families are having someone at home having 1 or more members having breathing difficulty this year.
With the COVID pandemic, percentage of Delhi-NCR families using masks as the primary protection against air pollution rose from 29% in 2019 to 61% in 2021
One of the comparisons between 2021 data and the pre pandemic 2019 data also brough another interesting insight to the fore. In 2019, 29% of Delhi-NCR families were masks to cope with deteriorating air quality. This percentage has more than doubled to 61% in 2021, post the Covid pandemic.
In summary, the percentage of Delhi-NCR families having someone facing an ailment related to toxic air quality has risen from 65% in 2020 to 80% in 2021 and this is just within the first week. Also, the percentage of families having someone who is facing breathing difficulty this year has gone up to 48% this year as compared to 30% this year. Both these figures point to the only thing that is different this year is that is the lethal 2nd COVID wave driven by the Delta variant that impacted many families earlier this year. The key concern is that if the hazardous air quality prevails for a few more weeks what would be the impact on those who either are struggling with long COVID or have vulnerable lungs due to COVID.