Visakhapatnam: For a smoke-free and safe Diwali celebrations
- Superintendent of Government Hospital for Chest and Communicable Diseases K V V Vijay Kumar says the Covid-19 recovered patients, the elderly and the ones having chronic diseases should stay away from inhaling the fumes emitted by fireworks
- He says metallic content and chemical particles present in the crackers can cause mucosal destruction and damage inner layer of respiratory tract besides weakening defence system against the virus
Visakhapatnam: In times of the coronavirus pandemic, most festival celebrations have been subdued for obvious reasons.
The ensuing Festival of Lights is no exception. Like the coronavirus, the smoke emanating from the fireworks can trigger health concerns, especially respiratory problems.
Keeping this in view, health experts suggest revellers to distance themselves from the smoke-inducing crackers and get closer to eco-friendly celebrations sans noise and pollution.
Considering mandatory precautions such as donning a mask may be challenging during Diwali as it is difficult to filter-out the chemical-laden fumes caused by the fireworks that blend effortlessly with the atmosphere.
Those who have already been affected by the virus once, senior citizens, those ailing with chronic ailments, asthma and heart disorders are advised to avoid lighting crackers.
"It is better that the Covid-19 recovered patients, the elderly and the ones having chronic diseases stay away from inhaling the fumes emitted by fireworks. Exposure to the metallic content and chemical particles present in the crackers can cause mucosal destruction. The inner layer of the respiratory tract can get damaged, weakening our defence system against the virus," cautions K V V Vijay Kumar, Superintendent of Government Hospital for Chest and Communicable Diseases.
Exposing to crackers' fumes for a long time also leads to coughing and burning sensation in the eyes, he pointed out.
With the threat of a second wave looming large, experts stress on the low-key Diwali celebrations. Apparently, even if healthy persons burst firecrackers, the vapour thus emitted may affect others in the neighbouring places. Already, officials from the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board and NGOs are campaigning for 'green Diwali' celebrations. As it will not only protect the environment but also considered a necessity in times of pandemic.
In 2014, when cyclone Hudhud ravaged Visakhapatnam coast, denizens were confined to lighting lamps and performing puja sans using any firework during Diwali. Environmentalists, health experts and social activists suggest that even in 2020, such smokeless celebrations will go a long way in not only protecting the environment but also containing the spread of coronavirus.
For those who believe that Diwali celebration is synonymous with bursting firecrackers, organic smokeless crackers appear to be a better alternative.