Health experts have supported the ban on firecrackers in Telangana saying the move will go a long way in protecting vulnerable groups including COVID-19 positives from the air pollution which otherwise would have caused.
They feel that the ban on firecrackers will not only save children suffering from asthma and elderly persons suffering from chronic lung diseases but will mitigate potential risks to all.
The Telangana government on Friday banned the sale and use of firecrackers. The move came a day after the State High Court directed the government to clampdown on the sale and use of firecrackers.
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The court gave the directions on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which sought a ban on firecrackers in the larger public interest in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is a well-known fact that burning of firecrackers releases copious amounts of harmful chemicals, which have a severe impact on the respiratory health of vulnerable groups and such pollutants can further aggravate health conditions of COVID-19 positives staying in home isolation and to protect the vulnerable groups like elderly, children, persons with co-morbidities and others amidst COVID-19 pandemic situation and approaching winter,” said Dr. Sowmya Bondalapati, Consultant Physician, Continental Hospitals.
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“Avoid crackers – save mankind and the environment. This can be achieved with the involvement of Government authorities and strict actions to be taken against the sale of crackers to curb pollution levels and improve Air Quality Index (AQI),” she said.
“Diwali celebrations lead us into pleasant winter weather. However, the season also brings in risks like increased pollution, causing damage to our lungs and heart. A ban on firecrackers for this year is a welcome move to mitigate potential risks to all,” said Dr. G. Anil Krishna, cardiologist, Medicover Hospitals.
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He said at a time when the total number of active coronavirus cases are coming down in the country, negligence during the festive season can reverse the trend.
“We are battling a major crisis that humankind has ever witnessed, and to overcome this problem, certain tough measures are needed. Instead of causing severe damage to ourselves and our neighbors by bursting firecrackers, we can celebrate the festival with lights and sweets to bring joy into lives.
According to Dr. Ramana Prasad, Consultant Pulmonologist, KIMS Hospitals avoiding the crackers, staying indoors, wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing are the very important precautions to be taken during this Diwali season.
“Children suffering from asthma and elderly persons suffering from chronic lung diseases like asthma, chronic bronchitis, and interstitial lung disease are very much prone to exacerbations during Diwali in view of lots of chemicals that are released into the environment. Most of them will experience chest tightness, breathing difficulties, cough, wheezing, running nose, sneezing, and itching and watering of the eyes,” he said. (IANS)