No crackers this Diwali as COVID cases, pollution rise, says Delhi CM

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (File Photo/ ANI)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (File Photo/ ANI)

New Delhi [India], November 5 (ANI): With rising COVID-19 cases and air pollution level, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced a ban on firecrackers in the national capital ahead of Diwali.

Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal said that the coronavirus situation in Delhi was reviewed with the chief secretary, health officials and district magistrates, after which it was concluded that the COVID-19 cases in Delhi were rising due to the festive season and increasing pollution in the region.

The Delhi government has also decided to ramp up medical infrastructure, including oxygen facility and intensive care unit beds in the government hospitals.

"Reviewed corona situation in Del(hi) (a)n(d) preparedness wid Chief Secy, Health officials and all DMs. Corona cases h(a)v(e) increased due to festival season (a)n(d) pollution. It was decided to 1. Ban crackers in Del, 2. Ramp up medical infra, Oxy (a)n(d) ICU beds are being increased in Del(hi) govt hospi(tal)s," Kejriwal tweeted.

He said an appeal had been filed in the Supreme Court to lift the Delhi High Court's stay on increasing ICU beds in private hospitals.

"Del(hi) HC has stayed our order to increase ICU beds in pvt hospitals. Filed (an) appeal in (the) SC yesterday (Wednesday). We hope (the) SC will lift the stay keeping in view the critical situation," he further tweeted.

The CM added that testing would be targeted and all steps would be taken to ensure that fatality rates did not increase.

Delhi's overall air quality index was recorded at 333 (very poor category) on Thursday morning, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research.

Chief Minister Kejriwal on Wednesday said that the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the national capital could be called the "third wave". (ANI)

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