Children worst-hit by fall in mercury and poor air quality
Met officials said the cold spell in Gurgaon will continue till the end of this monthUpdated: Jan 09, 2018 13:08 IST
City hospitals have seen an increase in the number of residents complaining of a mix of flu-related and respiratory complications over the past fortnight, since the chill started settling in the country’s Northern plains. The weather whammy on residents’ health was accentuated by poor air quality.
For the past week, the minimum temperature has been hovering around 6° Celsius. On Sunday, the minimum temperature was 6° Celsius, 1.2° Celsius lower than Saturday’s, shows data by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Officials at the Met department said the cold spell is going to continue till the end of this month as the region will continue to be under the influence of the Western Disturbances.
Parallelly, the city has seen its air quality fall as well.
The air quality index was 330 on Sunday, 355 on Saturday and 345 on Friday, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
The cold and bad air quality are collectively taking a toll on the health of residents, especially children. Of all the patients who visit the city’s Civil Hospital, 80% complain of fever, cold and respiratory issues; most of these patients are children and the elderly, doctors said.
“Children suffer more from respiratory illness and cold as their lungs are not fully developed to tackle polluted air. During winter, pollutants fails to get dispersed in the atmosphere because of low wind movement. As a result, particulate matter get trapped in the atmosphere and air becomes polluted. Lungs have to work extra hard to purify air, and this is when those with weak or underdeveloped lungs fall sick,” chief medical officer of the Civil Hospital, Gurgaon, BK Rajora, said.
Residents who visited the hospital with their sick children said that their children have been falling sick quite frequently despite taking precautions.
“My four-year-old son has been battling breathing difficulties for the last two weeks. He is unable to sleep because of the cold. Last week, I gave him medicines and he was doing fine, but as the temperature dipped further he started exhibiting the same symptoms,” Rani Devi, a resident of Jharsa, said.
Resident of Sector 46 Param Singh said, “We are not sending our kids to play outside because of the cold and pollution.”