Delhi's Education Minister Atishi Singh declared that all elementary schools in the state would be closed until 10 November due to the rapidly declining air quality. The schools now have the opportunity to move their classes online for students in grades 6 through 12.
"As pollution levels continue to remain high, primary schools in Delhi will stay closed till 10th November. For Grade 6-12, schools are being given the option of shifting to online classes.," said Delhi Education Minister Atishi on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
The air quality index worsened from 415 at 4 p.m. on Saturday to 460 at 7 a.m. on Sunday.
Due to increased pollution, the chief minister of Delhi had said that all public and private primary schools would be closed until November 5. It has been extended to November 10 due to the worsening circumstances.
For the first time this season, pollution levels in the nation's capital above the 'severe' threshold on Thursday, 2 November, and experts are predicting that over the following two weeks, pollution levels will rise much further.
In accordance with the National Capital Region's air pollution control plan, if the AQI exceeds 450, all emergency measures, including as a prohibition on polluting trucks, commercial four-wheelers, and all forms of construction, must be implemented and enforced.
At several areas across Delhi-NCR, the concentration of PM2.5, a fine particulate matter that can enter the respiratory system deeply and cause health issues, was seven to eight times higher than the government-mandated safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre. It was 80–100 times higher than the WHO-established safe threshold of 5 micrograms per cubic metre.