Karnataka bans bursting of crackers this Deepavali: BS Yediyurappa

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Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday said that the state government has decided to ban bursting of crackers during Deepavali this year. Speaking to the media on Friday, BS Yediyurappa said, “Due to COVID-19 and other reasons, we have decided to ban bursting of crackers during Deepavali this year. We held discussions before taking this decision. A government order will be issued shortly.” 

While the CM has said that they will ban bursting crackers, it is not yet clear if the ban will extend to their sale too. “We will issue a detailed government order,” a health department official said. 

Three days ago, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar had said that the state government had been mulling banning the sale and bursting of firecrackers during Deepavali and that a decision was awaited. The state government began mulling the ban after states like West Bengal, Rajasthan, Odisha and Haryana made similar announcements on sale and bursting of firecrackers. The Karnataka government had tasked the Technical Advisory  Committee for COVID-19 to submit its recommendations in this regard. 

Speaking to TNM, Dr Sudarshan, Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee for COVID-19 said that the experts were concerned about the impact of bursting crackers on patients with respiratory illnesses. 

“COVID-19 attacks a person’s respiratory system. Many COVID-19 patients, even with mild symptoms and in home isolation, may become more vulnerable if the air quality is affected. Even those who have recovered are vulnerable as the novel coronavirus attacks a patient’s lungs, and bursting crackers may lead to further respiratory issues,” Dr Sudarshan said, adding that it is important to take preventive measures to ensure further complications do not occur in patients post-recovery.

Another member of the committee told TNM that the committee recommended a ban on the sale too as monitoring the ban on bursting crackers would be difficult. “There is no way to monitor whether people are bursting crackers if there was not a ban on bursting them. This decision was taken simply to ensure that the health of people is not affected. People may not maintain physical distance while bursting crackers, which could also become a problem,” the source said.