No sound & smoke this Deepavali ?
Coronavirus Update, COVID-19, News

No sound & smoke this Deepavali ?

November 3, 2020
  • Step to aid COVID management, patients
  • MCC likely to ban bursting of crackers in residential areas
  • People can celebrate festival in open spaces within time-limit

By Shyam Sundar Vattam

Mysore/Mysuru: Taking a strong note of prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), in its efforts to keep the air breathable, is planning to identify open places across city where people can  gather to burst limited amount of crackers.

They also plan to have a time-limit within which the people should finish bursting the crackers. This is being done as the smoke emanating from the firecrackers could aggravate the health of COVID-infected patients.

“We will not allow bursting of crackers in residential localities as undisclosed number of Corona positive patients are under home quarantine. The smoke from firecrackers will cause breathlessness among them,” a Senior District Official told Star of Mysore on the condition of anonymity.

According to him, the Corporation is in the process of identifying big open places in and around the city and other computing details such as Corona patients if any, distance from the ground to their houses, before finalising it. Once it is done, the same will be informed to residents so that they can burn the firecrackers on the specified days and time. In all probability, the number of bursting crackers may be limited to just two hours.

Stalls at Town Hall or J.K. Grounds?

The Official said no decision has been taken regarding setting up of cracker stalls in Town Hall premises following functioning of COVID-19 Testing Centre.

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If the Corporation wanted to allow the shopkeepers to set up stalls at Town Hall, the Testing Centre has to be closed temporarily.  However, it is ruled out as the District Administration wanted to ramp up testing as much as possible to break the COVID-19 chain. In that case, J.K. Grounds will be the obvious choice to set up the stalls by maintaining distance between the shops. It will be possible for Department of Fire and Emergency Services to take precaution.

COVID-19 test for shop-keepers

It has been tentatively decided to make COVID-19 test mandatory for all those who apply for license to set up the stalls to sell firecrackers. Since thousands of citizens flock the shops to buy crackers, the shop-keepers will be asked to undergo RT-PCR test two days before putting up the stalls. Permission will be given to only those who test ‘negative.’ Plans are afoot to deploy mobile medical camps at J.K. Grounds to examine people who come to buy firecrackers.

Issue discussed

The Officer said this issue came up for a debate in a meeting convened by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rohini Sindhuri to take stock of the situation in city and district. MCC Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde, Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Panchayat D. Bharathi, District Health Officer Dr. T. Amarnath, District Tuberculosis Officer Dr. Mohammed Shiraz Ahmed and others are said to have discussed on effects of smoke emanating from the firecrackers on CoVID-infected patients. 

A majority of them favoured imposing a ban on bursting of crackers in residential areas and also fixing time limit within which the citizens must end the celebrations. The Corporation agreed to create awareness campaign across the city in this regard. 

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The officers decided to wait for the guidelines from Union Health Ministry which is aware of problems to be faced by Covid-infected patients in case the bursting of firecrackers was allowed in thickly polluted residential areas.

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