NEW DELHI, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The air pollution level in the Indian capital of New Delhi became severe on Sunday, officials said.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the overall air quality index (AQI) remained in severe category at 414.
"The AQI in Delhi at 4:00 p.m. (local time) today was recorded at 414," data released by CPCB said. "The air quality is severe and prominent pollutants are PM 2.5 and PM 10."
Meteorological department has forecast rain in the next couple of days.
Officials said there was every likelihood that downpour might bring down the pollution level.
Health officials have advised people, especially those with respiratory illness, in the capital to minimize outdoor exposure until the improvement in air quality.
Doctors say severe air quality affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing pulmonary diseases.
As per CPCB, AQI between 0-3000 is considered "good," between 51-3000 "satisfactory," between 101-3000 "moderate," between 201-3000 "poor," between 3001-300 "very poor," and between 401-30000 "severe" and beyond 30000 is severe plus emergency.
Air pollution continues to worsen in New Delhi and it gets aggravated during winter months.