Delhi: Covid-19 cases expected to surge due to pollution and festivities
The Covid case count is surging in Delhi consistently for the last few days. On Tuesday, Delhi saw the highest single-day spike to date, with 4853 new cases and 44 deaths. On Friday, Delhi recorded more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases with a high of 5,891 in 24-hour, taking the national capital to a 3.81 lakhs figure.
The Delhi government stated that the numbers are rising due to more testing and contact tracing as compared to other states. On Friday, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain warned against the growing pollution that could worsen the pandemic situation in the national capital.
Experts stated that it will be challenging as the Covid-19 cases could multiply in the coming weeks due to the approaching winter, festivity, pollution, and carelessness in measures. Dr. Prabhakaran Dorairaj, Professor, Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India, also stated that the cases will undoubtedly increase as the blend of overcrowding, pollution, and cold climate would be costly to health.
The viral remains suspended for a longer duration in the air during cold weather. The dangerous pollution levels boost the longevity of the suspension of the virus. Above all, the lack of social distancing during the festivities is inducing the spread considerably,” Dorairaj added.
Dr. Manoj Goel, senior pulmonologist at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, affirmed that the lack of appropriate behavior and sudden increase in pollution has exacerbated the coronavirus situation in Delhi.
“The cases will continue to rise if people don’t follow protocols as many are not following the guidelines wearing masks, social distancing, and staying indoors,” Goel added.
People have started to socialize and shop in the famous market areas in Delhi due to the Diwali festive season. All famous markets such as Sadar Bazaar, Chandini Chowk, Kamala Nagar, and Sarojini Nagar, are packed during this time of the year.
Sadar Bazar is India’s largest wholesale market, where Diwali crackers, decorations, curtains, cloth, carpets, utensils, and lots more are available at a cheaper price. It’s the biggest and most crowded market in Old Delhi, where social distancing is a big challenge.
As per experts, playing it safe is the main route forward to manage the viral illness since Delhi is thickly populated.
The air pollution levels in Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, and Faridabad in the National Capital Region shows a consecutive very poor air quality index (AQI), which could add to the coronavirus crisis. The neighboring states’ stubble burning is one of the major causes of the high level in the AQI.
The average 24-hour AQI was 382 in Ghaziabad, 367 in Gurgaon, 337 in Faridabad, and 394 in Greater Noida, as per the Central Pollution Control Board Sameer app, around 4 pm on Friday.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also launched an anti-air pollution campaign called ‘Yudh Pradushan Ke Virudh’ on Oct 5 and on Oct 16, the ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ drive as a measure to control pollution levels in the capital.