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Smog wreaks havoc in India and Pakistan
November 09, 2017
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NEW DELHI: Delhi’s government on Wednesday ordered schools shut for the rest of the week as air pollution worsened and criticism mounted over the failure of Indian authorities to tackle the public health crisis.

Thick smog swathed Delhi, where pollution readings in some places peaked at 500, the most severe level on the government’s air quality index that measures poisonous particles.

In Pakistan’s second largest city Lahore, flights were cancelled, school times pushed back and hospitals overwhelmed with patients. At Lahore’s Mayo Hospital, elderly patients donning oxygen masks and lying on stretchers crammed the corridors awaiting treatment.

No official air quality data was available but the informal PakAirQuality network, which publishes hourly air reports on Twitter, said the concentration of PM 2.5 in the city’s air reached 757.

Pakistan’s Punjab province of which Lahore is the capital pushed back opening times for schools to 9:00 am to shield children from the worst of the early-morning smog and shut down 180 factories.

“The air quality in Delhi is deteriorating. We cannot compromise with the health of children at this stage,” said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, ordering the closure until Sunday.

Agencies

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