Ramakanta Biswas

With Deepawali or Diwali round the corner, top health officials in Odisha sounded caution on bursting of firecrackers during the festival and said it may lead to a rise in the coronavirus infections.     

CBK Mohanty, Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET) said though we have a tradition of bursting crackers during Diwali it will lead to air pollution and helps in the growth of coronavirus infections

“Both prevalence as well as growth of Covid-19 are big concern for us. If we are concerned about the future, we must be cautious,” Mohanty said. 

“Studies have shown that Nitrogen Dioxide released during bursting of firecrackers helps in the growth of Coronavirus and penetration of cells. Besides, it also helps replication or formation of more number of virus copies. Hence, COVID-19 infection may rise due to bursting of firecrackers,” he added. 

The DMET chief said keeping all these risks in view people should be alert and adopt precautionary measures during the festivities. 

On the other hand, the Director of Public Health Niranjan Mishra said the Covid situation is improving in the State. Though infection is increasing in Khordha and Cuttack for the past couple of days, there is nothing to worry. 

“The situation is not worrisome as the rate of hospital admission and death is not increasing in the State. The cases are continuously falling, but we are still alert,” Mishra said. 

Today, the State registered 365 new cases of coronavirus of which 56 infections were in the age group of 0-18 years. The State also witnessed death of three more persons due to the virus, taking the toll to 8,325.