World

India chokes on toxic smog day after Deepavali

NEW DELHI: Toxic smog blanketed India's capital early yesterday after firecrackers were set off throughout the night to mark the country's biggest annual festival, Deepavali, despite a ban - further worsening the city's air quality levels.

"The overall air quality of Delhi is in the severe category as of today morning," the state-run System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research said yesterday.

"Significant local additional emissions (probably firecracker-related) during yesterday night... built up stubble fire-related pollutant concentrations."

Scientists have been warning that the celebrations have increased health risks amid crowding at markets ahead of the festival, the cold and the air pollution, which studies have linked to increased coronavirus deaths.

Delhi reported higher-than-usual daily rises in new cases and 7,340 fresh infections late Saturday. - AFP

WORLD