Delhi's air quality in 'severe' category as thick smog covers capital

A thick layer of smog covered Delhi this morning (November 5) as pollution levels slipped to the "severe" category. Delhi's air quality index or AQI stands at 500 as a result of farm fires in the neighboring states and vehicular emissions. Unfavorable meteorological conditions have also contributed to pollution in the national capital. The air quality index (AQI) between 401 and 500 is categorized as severe, the worst band on the index. As Delhi is forced to breathe the toxic air, several residents have reported breathing difficulties, with the elderly and schoolchildren being the worst hit. Medical experts say prolonged exposure to toxic air, especially during the morning, can lead to serious health problems. In a slew of directives to tackle the air pollution crisis in the National Capital on Friday, the Delhi government announced that 50 percent of government employees will be directed to work from home and all primary schools will be shut.