Extreme Pollution: An Oxygen Half Marathon in New Delhi


Extreme Delhi Pollution: An Oxygen Half Marathon in New Delhi, On Sunday, tens of thousands of people ran for the New Delhi Half Marathon, under heavy pollution.

According to a Paris Match France article

Tens of thousands of people ran Sunday the Delhi Half Marathon despite the health risks associated with the cloud of pollution that has enveloped the Indian capital for several days. A total of 35,000 runners were registered for this competition, which was held despite requests for postponement. A fog of pollution suffocated for more than a week the Indian capital, whose schools were closed for several days. The event was won by Ethiopian Birhanu Legese in 59 minutes and 46 seconds ahead of fellow Andamlak Belihu and American Leonard Korir.

On Sunday, the US Embassy website indicated that the PM2.5 particle concentration was 189 micrograms / m3. WHO recommends not to exceed 25 micrograms / m3 on average daily. Several runners jumped on the half marathon with a protective mask, complaining about the quality of the air. ” My eyes are burning, my throat is dry, my nose is running, “ says Rohit Mohan, 30, from Bangalore (south). ” Since I landed yesterday, it’s horrible .”

I know pollution can affect my health, but I still participate.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), which brings together more than 220,000 doctors, had appealed to the Delhi High Court to postpone the race because of a pollution spike described as a health emergency. But the court responded on Thursday that it had been reassured by the organizers’ efforts to reduce the impact of the pollution and the race could have taken place.

Most participants, the vast majority of whom are Indian, ignored warnings about the risks of cardio-respiratory disease and ran without a mask. ” I know that pollution can affect my health, but I participate anyway ,” said Sitam, who like many Indians has only one name. ” I want to send a message to the government to do something for sports fans and offer them a clean environment .”

The Indian telecom giant Airtel had threatened last week to no longer sponsor the race if the authorities of Delhi did not act to improve the air quality. Before the race, the organizers had watered the course to limit the dust. Pollution is a major public health problem for India, a nation of 1.25 billion people in full development and with huge growth needs.

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