In a bid to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from worsening due to increased air pollution, the Delhi government has banned all types of firecrackers from November 7 to 30, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday.
“The ban on crackers has been imposed in view of air pollution. This time around, there is pollution and COVID-19. When firecrackers are burst on Diwali, people are unable to breathe properly for around 3-4 hours late at night due to air pollution,” Jain told reporters here.
Responding to whether ‘green cracker’ will be included in the ban, Jain said that there is a pandemic spreading around the globe and people should avoid refrain from bursting crackers.
“There is a pandemic across the country. People have not seen such a thing in their entire lifetime. People should understand and refrain from bursting crackers. Everyone should conduct poojas and offer prayers at their homes. The Laxmi pooja by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be broadcasted live. Everyone can join him in their homes,” Jain said.
“Pollution and COVID-19 are dangerous in and of themselves. To protect yourself from both, people should ensure not to leave their houses without a face mask… In the third wave of the COVID-19, positive cases are increasing. At present 7,231 COVID beds are occupied in Delhi and 8,572 are still available,” he added.
Jain said that the number of COVID-19 beds in Delhi government hospitals will be increased and said that private hospitals will be asked to do the same.
Speaking about the approaching winters and the arrangement made by the Delhi government to provide shelter homes to the needy, Jain said, “Shelter homes are being prepared and COVID-19 guidelines will be kept in mind while doing so. We are increasing the size of the shelter homes in view of the pandemic and will only fill the tents to half its capacity in view of COVID-19.”