The national capital once again woke up in severe cold after it was reported that minimum temperature in Delhi reached 2.5 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
New Delhi is currently experiencing its second harshest recorded winter in 119 years.
Delhi temperatures lower than that of hill stations
Several parts of the Capital region have recorded temperatures lower than that of popular hill stations like Shimla and Mussoorie.
The maximum temperatures of both the hill stations at 14 degrees were higher than that of Delhi over the weekend, due to fog cover over the plains.
Night temperatures in Delhi were around 2 degrees lower than that of Shimla and Mussoorie on December 28, 2019.
20% increase in OPD rush
The Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Dr Randeep Guleria on Monday said that Delhi is witnessing more chill than hilly areas and OPD rush had increased by 20 per cent with people suffering from different respiratory ailments.
"Delhi is facing cold weather for the past few weeks. The cold is more severe than the hilly areas. The mean temperatures are lower here because of fog and no sunshine. Because of the cold weather, there is a rise of 15-20 per cent in the number of patients in OPD. Bronchitis cases go up. Heart patients also face risks. If the healthy people do not take care of themselves, they may face a condition called hypothermia which results in abnormally low body temperatures," Dr Guleria said.
Further drop in Air Quality
The reduction in minimum temperature also affects air quality and Delhi's air quality index (AQI) stood at 448 at 9:38 am, which falls under the severe zone.
An AQI between 0-50 is regarded as good , 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401-500 severe. Above 500 falls under the severe-plus emergency category.
Train and flight schedule affected as streets engulfed in dense fog
Several train and flight operations are adversely affected in Delhi with as many as 30 trains are running late due to low visibility in the Northern Railway region. Moreover, due to bad weather, flight operations at the New Delhi airport have also been affected.
"Normal operations have been suspended at Delhi airport due to poor visibility, only CAT III B(instrument landing system) compliant pilots can land. Passengers are requested to stay in touch with the airline concerned for updated flight information. Due to the foggy weather conditions and low visibility at the airport, three flights diverted and none has been cancelled," Delhi Airport said in a statement.
Homeless seek refuge
Meanwhile, many homeless people have taken refuge at different night shelters that have come up near locations like Anand Vihar Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) and Sarai Kale Khan.
IMD issues 'red' warning as Delhi NCR awaits rain
On Saturday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a 'red' warning for the national capital as cold wave conditions continued unabated in the region. The red colour denotes extreme weather conditions.
From December 31 onwards, rain is likely in the capital city and its adjoining areas such as Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Faridabad.
This weather phenomenon is likely to continue till January 3, predicted the weather forecast agency.
Six dead in car accident due to low visibility
Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) on Monday witnessed disruption in traffic movement as visibility dropped drastically low.
A car plunged into a canal killing six out of the 11 passengers travelling in it, due to lower visibility in the National Capital Region of Gautam Budh Nagar.
Residents of Delhi NCR have appealed to the government to take necessary measures to improve the situation in Delhi NCR.