The Health Emergency and Disaster Management Unit under the Ministry of Health and Population has appealed the general public to stay indoors unless for emergency works for a few days considering the increased air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley.

On Monday evening, Kathmandu Valley was recorded as the most polluted city in the world.

The Air Quality Index (AIQ) in Kathmandu stood between 300 and 600 for the past couple of days while AQI above 300 is considered hazardous.

The hazardous air quality is attributed to change in weather, increased cold, and air pollutants.

Issuing a statement on Tuesday evening, the Ministry also urged people to not to head out for morning walks or outdoor exercises warning of various problems, including difficulty in breathing, due to increase in air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley along with the change in the weather over the past few days.

The Ministry has also requested to exercise at home, not to go out of the house except for urgent work, not to drive vehicles unless absolutely necessary, to properly manage household wastes and to postpone construction businesses for a few days.

The worsening air quality poses a threat to people with preexisting respiratory health problems and adds to the burden amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, bad air quality is most likely to affect coronavirus patients, elderly, children, pregnant women and those suffering from respiratory diseases as well as allergies.