Government urges people not to come out of home unnecessarily as pollution rises

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population has urged people to wear masks in view of the increase in air pollution in Kathmandu.

Stating that the air quality in the federal capital was at the top of the list of cities with ‘unhealthy air’ throughout the world, the ministry advised people to wear masks to protect themselves from the air pollution.

Ministry’s spokesperson Dr Prakash Budhathoki urged people to not come out of home unnecessarily, not to travel and to stay away from highly polluted areas, as the air pollutants in Kathmandu were high.

According to the ‘World Air Quality Index-Ranking’, which measures the level of air pollution around the world, Kathmandu’s air is at the top of the world’s unhealthy air list.

“Air pollution affects the heart and blood vessels, lungs, brain, eyes, nose, ears, throat, etc. It also increases the risk of asthma and cancer. Kathmandu is at the top of the world’s unhealthy list,” the Ministry spokesman Budhathoki said through a press release.

Mostly children under five years old, pregnant women, chronically ill people and the elderly account for a high number of annual deaths due to air pollution in Nepal. Air pollution has reduced the average life expectancy of Nepalis by 4.1 percent.

Spokesperson Budhathoki said that various facts and researches show that air pollution is the main cause of illness and death in Nepal.

As there is a high possibility of heat waves in the Terai during summer and heatstroke, the ministry has requested that people should not go outside unnecessarily during the day and drink more water and take liquid food.

According to the Ministry, the number of patients in hospitals and health facilities across the country has increased with the growing summer heat.



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