Considering the potentially harmful consequences of burning of crackers amidst COVID-l9 pandemic situation and approaching winter, State Government on Tuesday prohibited the sale and use of fire crackers from 10-30 November in public interest.
Deepavali, the festival of lights, may hence be celebrated in the traditional way by lighting of earthen lamps , Candles and other traditional lighting materials, the State Government urged the people.
Anyone found violating the orders of the Government banning sale and use of fire crackers shall be punished as per the provisions of the Disaster Management Act-2005 and other relevant laws, it warned.
Any person found violating this order shall be punished Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws, an order from the office of the Special Relief Commssioner said.
“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under section 24(l) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 read with rule 8(1) of the Odisha Disaster Management Rules, 20L0, the undersigned hereby directs that the sale and use of flre crackers shall remain prohibited in all parts of the State from 10th to 30th of November,2020,” the order said.
An official spokesperson said the State Administration and Police have been suitably instructed in this connection while the Government solicits whole-hearted support of the people to fight the global pandemic to population.
The Spokesperson said that due to the proactive steps taken by the State Government and cooperation of the people, the spread of COVID-19 pandemic has been controlled in the State to a significant extent.
The people of Odisha deserve profound thanks for working in tandem with the Government machinery, he said.
While the present number of active cases has shown a dip, the danger is still very much present, he added. He said that in some parts of the country and in the world, where COVID-19 appropriate behaviours have not been strictly adhered to, resurgence of COVID-19 infection has been witnessed.
A number of countries across the world have been compelled to re- impose the lockdowns and other extreme measures to contain the resurgence and further spread of the disease, he said.
The international experience shows that the coming winter season may see further spread of the pandemic.
It is generally observed that elderly persons, children, persons with co- morbidities and others develop respiratory problems during winter. Fufther, the air pollution, higher concentration of Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) in the air aggravates the respiratory problems.
It is a well-known fact that burning of the fire crackers releases copious amounts of harmful chemicals like nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, which have severe impact on the respiratory health of vulnerable groups.
Such pollutants can further aggravate health conditions of COVID-19 positive persons besides persons staying in home isolation, experts say.