As per IQAir, a Switzerland-based, real-time air quality information platform, today at 9 am, Delhi ranked as the most polluted city in the world with an air quality index (AQI) of 719.
Lahore came in second with an AQI of 430, which is categorised as “hazardous”.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered good. While anything over 300 is “hazardous” and requires an emergency response. When the AQI exceeds, health experts advise people to avoid outdoor activities and to keep windows and doors closed.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy — which also monitors air quality in major cities of Pakistan — placed the AQI as high as 623 for the city of Lahore.
After Lahore, the second most polluted Pakistani city was Faisalabad.
In order to combat the deteriorating air index, the provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) has to date fined 42,118 vehicles and sealed 53 industries in the Punjab province.
Separately, a recent study has found a link between dirty air and coronavirus-related deaths. According to the research, reported by The Guardian, air pollution is associated with an 11% increase in deaths from Covid-19.