New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: People in India's capital city Delhi were left gasping for fresh air as the air pollution in the city reached the season's worst levels. In Anand Vihar, the AQI on Monday stood at 484, which is the worst level in this winter season. The average AQI level in the national capital was recorded at 459. Morning visuals shared by news agency ANI showed a thick layer of smog surrounding the city. The Akshardham Temple area was completed engulfed in the smog with visibility hardly more than five meters.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Air Quality Index was recorded at 472 in ITO, 470 in Mundka, 465 in Okhla Phase 2, and 468 in Wazirpur, all in the 'severe' category.

An AQI above 300 is considered life-threatening for those in the risk groups. Healthy people may also experience strong symptoms and face other illnesses. Healthy individuals should avoid outdoor activities when the AQI levels rise above 300. Elders, children and the sick should strictly remain indoors and avoid physical activities.

According to experts, low wind speed, subsidence of cold air and an increase in farm fires have contributed to the exceptionally higher levels of air pollution in Delhi. Last week, the Air Quality Index in Delhi was under the "very poor" category but worsened over the weekend reportedly due to strong subsidence and accumulation of pollutants.

Meanwhile, the spike in COVID-19 cases in Delhi continued and the national capital recorded 7,745 new infections in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate has increased to 15.26 per cent amid the festive season and the worsening pollution levels in the national capital. Delhi's caseload has risen to 4,38,529 with 6,989 deaths. There are now 41,857 active cases of coronavirus in the national capital.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma