UP Cities Defy Firecracker Ban As Delhi Records 7,340 Covid Cases on Diwali

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Diwali is the biggest Hindu festival of the year, where firecrackers are traditionally let off. — AFP

As the wrath of Covid-19 continues to grapple the national capital amid Diwali festivities, it confirmed the second-highest single-day fatalities on Saturday

LUCKNOW – The ban on firecrackers in 13 Uttar Pradesh cities proved ineffectiveas people burst crackers with a vengeance on Diwali night.

The air quality index in Lucknow zoomed to 881 by midnight and settled at 427 on Sunday morning.

In Rajajipuram locality, the AQI was 752 on Sunday morning and Naka Hind, Qaiserbagh and Lalbagh areas recorded AQI at 450 — all in the ‘hazardous’ category.

Most people refrained from bursting crackers till about 8 p.m. when police vans were seen patrolling the various areas.

However, after 9 p.m., people went berserk bursting firecrackers, even the high decibel ones.

Rakesh Khatri, a businessman here, who burst a Rs 10,000 firecracker, explained, “I had bought these crackers much before the ban was announced. Storing the crackers can be dangerous because we have children in the house so I had to use them. When my neighbours starting bursting crackers after the Diwali puja, I also followed suit.”

Reports of firecrackers being used despite the ban are also came in from cities like Kanpur where AQI was 750 on Sunday morning.

Other cities that defied the ban include Meerut, Moradabad and several other cities in western districts.

A senior police official said that the administration has taken note of people defying the ban and necessary action would be taken against those responsible.

As the wrath of Covid-19 continues to grapple the national capital amid Diwali festivities, it confirmed the second-highest single-day fatalities on Saturday. The city recorded as many as 96 deaths and 7,340 new infections out of the 49,645 tests conducted in the last 24 hours.

The fatalities recorded were the second-highest in a day coming in parallel to the sharp spike in cases being reported after a months long lull. Delhi has seen an alarming spike in recent weeks, recording more new cases than any other state in the country.

The overall case tally has reached 4,82,170 while the cumulative causality stands at 7,519. In total, 5,42,8,472 tests have been conducted so far in the national capital.

Meanwhile, 7,117 people recovered in the last 24 hours. The national capital’s test positivity rate is 14.78 per cent while the case fatality rate stands at 1.56 per cent.

Currently, 8,677 out of 16,636 beds are occupied in the hospitals, 759 out of 8,217 beds in the dedicated Covid Care Centres and 252 out of 562 beds in the dedicated Covid Health Centres. Over 27,428 people are in home isolation. The number of containment zone has been raised to 4,288.

The spike in cases coincide with deepening winters, rising pollution and busy festival season. According to the doctors, cold air is heavier and less mobile, which means viral clouds or viral particles will hover closer to the ground, making it easier to get into one’s lungs.

Meanwhile, like every year, people were seen bursting crackers in NCR towns despite the ban on sale and purchasde of firecrackers. The air quality has already deteriorated to ‘severe’ category with the real-time AQI showing a reading of 457 at 11 pm.

The scenario has also put pressure on the hospitals where more than half the available beds are already occupied.

 

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