Although the streets have been largely empty for nearly two weeks now, air in Bangladesh’s capital city barely showed any sign of improvement as Dhaka ranked third worst in the Air Quality Index on Sunday morning.
It had an AQI score of 174 at 08:04am and the air was classified as ‘unhealthy’.
Thailand's Chiang Mai, and China's Shenyang occupied the first and second spots in the list of cities with the worst air quality with AQI scores of 313 and 244 respectively.
A numerical value between 151 and 200 indicates that everyone may begin to experience health effects. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
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 (O3).
The Department of Environment has also set national ambient air quality standards for these pollutants. These standards aim to protect against adverse human health impacts.
Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution. Its air quality usually improves during monsoon.