Dhaka’s air quality was ranked fifth worst in the Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday morning.
Dhaka had an AQI score of 154 at 08:41am and the air was classified as ‘unhealthy’.The air quality in Dhaka has been improving significantly over the last few days thanks to the government-announced holiday to curb the transmission of coronavirus.
When the AQI value is between 151 and 200, everyone may begin to experience health effects while members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
United Arab Emirates' Dubai, Chile’s Santiago and China’s Chengdu occupied the first three spots in the list of cities with the worst air with scores of 793, 177 and 159 respectively.
The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.
In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants - Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone.
Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution. Its air quality usually improves during monsoon.But the capital's air quality declined much in recent days, forcing the High Court to come up with a nine-point directive to improve the air quality.
Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin admitted that the air pollution in the capital reached an intolerable level and blamed 58 percent of the pollution on brick kilns.
He said the government has taken plans to shut traditional kilns currently in operation.
"Air pollution should be seen as an important national crisis," he told UNB in an interview in February.