BENGALURU: After states like Rajasthan, Odisha, West Bengal and Haryana decided to ban the sale of crackers during Deepavali, the Karnataka Government is likely to ban the sale of smoke-emitting firecrackers across the state. “A few rounds of meeting have been held with health experts, including members of the technical committee on Covid-19.
They have suggested to the Health Minister that firecrackers can badly impact the health of those who have already been infected with the disease and even to those who haven’t. Hence, smoke-emitting firecrackers may be banned across the state,” pointed out a senior ministry official.
A final decision on this, however, will be taken after discussions with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in a couple of days, said sources.Sources said during the meetings, the experts explained to Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar that smoke from crackers will pose a serious challenge. “Since Covid-19 affects the lungs the most, even those who have recovered from the virus will be vulnerable as their immunity and respiratory system will still be fragile. Bursting of smoke-emitting crackers can be dangerous,” the committee members have felt.
The sources said Minister Sudhakar has been convinced about the need to ban the sale of firecrackers, but a decision will be taken after consultations with the Chief Minister. “A meeting with the CM has been scheduled and a decision will be taken soon,” a Health Ministry official explained.
Ensure smoke-free Deepavali: Docs
The medical fraternity too has appealed to the State Government to ensure a smoke-free Deepavali, especially in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. Doctors fear that festival shopping rush, dip in temperatures due to the onset of winter, coupled with increase in air pollution due to bursting of crackers may pose serious health challenges for those who have recovered from Covid-19 infection and those with respiratory problems.
According to senior pulmonologist from Manipal Hospitals, Dr Satyanarayana Mysore, during winter the phenomenon of dryness in the ambient air poses respiratory problems for people prone to such illnesses.
“The situation turns problematic for people with asthma or other respiratory disorders. An additional load of pollution in the air will only make matters worse, especially as a majority of Covid-19 cases in our state are those who have co-morbidities,” he said.