The worsening air quality in Delhi has left the expats in a dilemma about whether to continue living in the national capital or leave for their respective countries.
Emily Bild, a professional from the UK, said her family, which also has two toddlers, had been acclimatising in Delhi, but was in a dilemma whether to leave or stay here. “We have three air purifiers in the house. We have also installed an air quality monitor and my two-year-old son and three-year-old daughter are moving around with masks. But if the air quality continues to remain the same, I don’t think we have an option other than going back,” she said.
Gracy Theo, a psychology student at Delhi University, said, “I am not moving out and just staying indoors. I am feeling nauseating as I step out but I cannot leave my course midway so have to somehow deal with the situation.”
Similar thoughts were echoed by Kiran Stacey, a foreign correspondent working here. “It looks disgusting, it feels disgusting. It’s clearly damaging for anybody who is out in this really badly polluted air. I would have loved to go back or at least stay indoors but I had to report on the demonetisation anniversary so had to be in the field today,” he said.
Hanne Meldgard, the acting ambassador of Norway, said, “We have an air cleaning system and we are trying to stay indoors as much as we can.” A toxic haze hanging over Delhi thickened on Wednesday, leading to near zero visibility at many places, even as air quality slid further.
The air quality index of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had a score of 487 on a scale of 500, indicating ‘severe’ levels of pollution, which can affect even healthy people and “seriously impact” those with existing diseases.