Delhi Pollution Reaches Hazardous Levels: Medical Tourists be alert!

Posted on November 4th, 2019 by Hiba Farzin


The air pollution levels have reached dangerously high as ever across much of north India. The country capital is currently facing a public health crisis due to increased air pollution levels. As per the data gathered from state pollution control boards, the southern parts of the country has most of the places complying with the WHO and NAAQ (National Ambient Air Quality) standards, whereas in the northern regions, most of the cities are critically polluted.

“According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the national capital’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 494 at 4 pm on Sunday, the highest since November 6, 2016, when it was 497.”
This has been evaluated as a temporary crisis, and the government has undertaken serious steps to check the increased levels of pollutants in the air. The authorities say that the situation will be back to normal within a few weeks.

Hoteliers and tourism facilitators claim that the pollution crisis has shown a significant impact on tourism. They said that foreign tourists are leaving Delhi and moving to other cities to enjoy their vacation. Foreign tourists have reported that they could feel the poor air quality as soon as they landed at the airport. Some travellers reported that they experienced a burning sensation in their eyes and throat as a result of being exposed to the polluted air.

In this situation, we recommend medical tourists who had been planning treatment in India, specifically Delhi and adjacent cities, to reschedule their travel if possible. In case of emergency surgeries or treatments, rescheduling not being possible, it would be better to choose some other cities in India which are not affected by the current pollution crisis.

Alternative cities you can consider for your treatment

If you are already in Delhi and are willing to relocate for your treatment, these cities are better options for you. Almost all these cities are just 1 hour away by flight and provide excellent medical care as par with Delhi.

  1. Bangalore
  2. Hyderabad
  3. Chennai
  4. Bombay
  5. Kochi
  6. Calicut.

If you need any further assistance in choosing the best city and hospitals, or in other arrangements, feel free to contact us. We are happy to help you free of cost.

I need help in choosing the hospital

The Delhi Govt has also declared an odd and even scheme as an attempt to downshift the increased rate of air pollution. This is to reduce the number of vehicles and thereby reduce the amount of smoke emitted from vehicles. The scheme restricts the vehicles allowed on the road. So it will be difficult to get a taxi or other transportation services during this period.

Instructions for Foreign Medical Travellers who are Currently in Delhi or nearby

Delhi govt has issued a list of do’s and don’ts through a health advisory to help people fight the severe air pollution level.
“The air pollution harms and may cause respiratory illness in healthy people on prolonged exposure and even pronounced respiratory or other serious illnesses in vulnerable population even on short exposure,” said the government health advisory.

Everyone in and around Delhi is recommended to follow these instructions for their health and safety:

  • Try to reschedule outdoor activities and visits
  • Remain indoors as much as possible
  • If you feel any kind of breathing issues, cough, allergy or discomfort consult the nearest doctor for aid
  • Keep your usual and emergency medications readily available
  • Use masks when you go outdoor
  • Make sure to use certified N95 masks
  • Follow the user instructions of your mask
  • Use smokeless fuel or electricity for cooking and heating
  • Use public transportation services
  • Avoid going to places near polluting sites (construction sites, factories, etc.)
  • Avoid going to places with heavy traffic
  • Do not burn garbage or any kind of waste materials
  • Avoid going out for walking, jogging, physical exercise, etc.
  • Keep the doors and windows of your room closed
  • Avoid smoking

Reasons for the sudden hike in air pollution

The sudden hike in air pollution in Delhi is a combined outcome of climate change and festival celebrations added-up to the prevailing high amounts of pollutants in the air. The main reasons are:

  • Firecracker emissions during Diwali celebrations
  • Stubble burning (burning of agricultural crop residues after harvest) at Haryana and Punjab
  • Unfavourable wind
  • Climate change

The unfavourable wind has carried pollutants resulting from stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab to Delhi. The impact became even worse when combined with firecracker emissions persisting in the air after the Diwali festival celebrations.

It is hoped that the current crisis could be overcome in a few weeks.