As the cities remained engulfed in a thick blanket of smoke for the fifth consecutive day, schools issued an advisory for children to use face masks in the morning hours to protect themselves from pollution.
Poor quality of air and subsequently, smog, have been persisting since Diwali. There was barely any sunlight in the city even in the peak afternoon hours. It was a cloudy day and the weather remained hazy.
The minimum temperature was recorded around 16 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature was recorded at 32 degrees Celsius on Friday.
Many residents said that the effects of pollution can be seen inside their residences as well.
“My house is on the tenth floor and in the morning, around 6 am, it is hard to see the ground floor because of the thick smog. Even though we keep our doors and windows shut, my grandmother has started getting breathless despite not stepping out of the house. The polluted air has entered our houses as well,” Sakshi Dhawan of Eastend highrise apartments in Indirapuram said.
The sale of face masks has increased as residents seek to protect themselves from pollution, especially in the morning.
“Noida residents are very health conscious and there has been a sudden rise in the number of the basic face masks we are selling per day. In the last five days, we have sold close to 10 pieces per day. On normal days, more than two pieces are not sold in a week,” Anoop Khanna, president of chemist association, Gautam Buddh Nagar, said.
“These masks are disposable and cost ₹10 per piece. They are generally used just once as they are surgical masks. However, it can help to an extent in curbing the effects of the pollution,” Khanna said.
However, Ghaziabad is yet to see a spike in the sale of face masks.
“There has been no sudden increase in the sale of surgical masks at our clinic until now. The surgical masks are as good as wrapping a handkerchief around your face; it is not that effective. The other masks that do curb pollution effectively are three-layered, which are quite expensive and can be bought only on order as they are not easily available,” Dr Ashwani Kansal who runs a clinic in Indirapuram said.