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Maharashtra minister pushes for firecracker-free Diwali amid pandemic

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said he favours a firecracker-free Diwali this year to reduce air pollution and prevent rise in coronavirus cases

Topics
Maharashtra | Diwali | Coronavirus

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

A vendor waits for customers as he sells green crackers ahead of Diwali Festival in Old Delhi on Friday.
A vendor waits for customers as he sells green crackers ahead of Diwali Festival

health minister Rajesh

Tope on Thursday said he favours a firecracker-free this year to reduce air pollution and prevent rise in cases.

In a media statement released here following a review meeting with officials and members of a task-force set up to tackle the pandemic, Tope said he would take up the issue with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Firecracker emissions create a heavy layer of smoke in the air, which can cause breathing problems, he said.

Moreover, as a precautionary measure to counter a second wave of COVID-19, the state government has decided to increase fever surveillance in the state, Tope said.

"Considering the onset of winter, the state government plans to increase fever surveillance across the state for early detection of the COVID-19 infection," he said.

The government will also increase testing at malls, shopping complexes, grocery shops and public transport, among others, as these locations have been identified as "super- spreaders", the minister said.

Apart from this, the state government has decided to extend the decision to reserve 80 per cent beds in private hospitals for COVID-19 patients, he added.

On Thursday, Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally crossed the 17 lakh-mark. Over the past few days, the state's daily count of infections has dropped below 10,000.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, November 05 2020. 20:35 IST
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