Hyderabad: Health Department on Friday urged people to celebrate Deepavali festival within their homes and avoid bursting firecrackers, which will go a long way in consolidating the gains made to prevent a major surge in Covid-19 infections during Bathukamma and Dasara festivities in the State.
Acknowledging the possible role of air pollution in the rise of Covid-19 infections, the Health Department said avoiding firecrackers during this year’s Deepavali could be vital to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“We have seen in New Delhi where due to air pollution and cold weather conditions, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is thriving and surviving in the air for a longer period of time. As a result, there is a greater chance of Covid-19 infections and this is what has happened in Delhi, where cases have gone up again,” said Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao, while interacting with press persons here on Friday.
Apart from the threat of Covid-19 infections, there is always the risk of swine flu, asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) due to air pollution and winter, he pointed out.
“While the younger generation may find it easy to recover from viral infections, it is the elderly population that has to bear the brunt of Covid-19 disease. In New Delhi, almost 90 per cent of Covid-19 fatalities are either elderly or people with pre-existing medical conditions,” Dr.Rao said.
The Health Department anticipated a surge in Covid-19 cases after Bathukamma and Dasara festivals in October. “People have continued to take precautions and even the State government had from the beginning focused on making people aware of the dangers of mass gatherings. The department also did not reduce the number of tests during the festivals, which has helped to avoid a surge during the festive season,” he said.
At present, almost all the Covid infections in the State were because of inappropriate behaviour on the part of the younger generation in Hyderabad and across the State.
“There is no doubt that the younger population has to get out of their homes to earn a livelihood. However, when they come back home, they tend to infect their family members, especially the older generation. At present, our surveillance teams across all urban centres, including Hyderabad, have noticed that people in commercial localities have forgotten the importance of taking required precautions,” Dr Rao added.
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