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Kathmandu tops global list for ‘unhealthy air’: Mask-wearing advisory issued

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The Ministry of Health and Population of Nepal has urged people to wear masks given the increase in air pollution in Kathmandu valley. The air quality in Kathmandu was at the top of the list of cities with ‘unhealthy air’ in the world.

According to IQAir, an organization that measures the real-time pollution of 101 cities in the world, Kathmandu was found to be the most polluted city in the world. In terms of pollution, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Chiang Mai in Thailand, Hanoi in Vietnam, Bangkok in Thailand and Dhaka in Bangladesh are ranked first, second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

People are advised not to come out of their homes 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, and throat and also increases the risk of asthma, cancer and other diseases. 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 Nepalese by 4.1 per cent.

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 of Health and Population of Nepal, the number of patients in hospitals and health facilities across the country has increased with the growing summer heat and pollution.

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