Residents Affected by Smog Seek Help Through Mobile App

Residents of the eastern suburb also took help from online doctors to tackle the health problems arising out of air pollution, besides clinics and hospitals. Poccare, a mobile application that allows patients to video chat or text doctors, was swarmed with 540 calls and messages from residents of Chembur to Navi Mumbai between Thursday and Sunday last week.

"We usually field up to 50 web chats and video calls a day from children and older people. In the past week, however, the number of calls had doubled. A large number of the residents had difficulty in breathing, skin rashes, irritation of the eye and worsening asthma," said Dr Birendra Yadav, one of the consultants. He added that even on normal days the app receives lot of complaints pertaining to respiratory troubles and skin irritation.

"The fire at the Deonar dumping ground has spiked pollution levels in surrounding areas way beyond the acceptable levels. It is a silent epidemic and needs to be taken care of," said Bamasish Paul, CEO, Healthenablr India Pvt. Ltd. The fire was brought under control on Friday after eight days.