Lahore, the cultural hub and provincial capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province, ranked first among top 10 cities across the world with poor air quality. Leaving its traditional rival New Delhi far behind, the official air quality index (AQI) of Lahore was reported at 289 (as per the average between 9am and 5pm) and international monitoring bodies put the score at 397. New Delhi stood at less than half of Lahore’s pollution level, with 187. “At 397 AQI, [or particulate matter (PM) 2.5], the pollution concentration is 34.8 times higher than the annual air quality value set by the World Health Organisation. This is, what environmentalists call, hazardous with it getting ‘extremely hazardous’ at individual points,” explains Abdul Rauf, representing an organisation working on air quality of the city. Moreover, November is usually the worst month for pollution across north India and Pakistan as farmers burn off stubble in their fields and the cooler weather can trap pollution. Furthermore, the US Air Quality Index includes the concentration of PM2.5 particles as well as bigger pollutants. These particles can cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases including lung cancer, and pose a particular risk for people with COVID-19.