Twist In Safe Diwali Tips This Year Due To COVID; Here Are 10 Of Them
This Diwali is different in more ways than one. The safety rules and tips are also different in view of the pandemic.
India Today TV spoke to two senior doctors in Delhi to get their advice on Diwali during COVID-19.
Here are the tips that Dr Sunil Jain, HOD Emergency Medical Services, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre gave to India Today TV:
Avoid Bursting Crackers
Say no to firecrackers or any form of burning waste, especially dry leaves in a public garden or a bonfire, as any form of smoke can trigger serious health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic which is still active. Carbon particles from fumes and chemical vapours from firecrackers may aggravate the pre-existing allergic condition. Vapour particles can stick to nostrils for a long period, aggravating Allergic Rhinitis and trigger asthma and bronchitis attack. All these are bound to affect the lungs, and we can certainly expect a spike in COVID-19 cases and an increase in mortality during and after Diwali.
Elderly Should Stay Indoors
Elderly should stay indoors to avoid cold temperatures outside. People of all ages should avoid physical congregations. Instead, meet families and friends on the virtual space. Stay well with the ‘better normal.’
Don’t Use Sanitiser BEfore Lighting Diya/Candles
Refrain from using hand sanitisers which are alcohol-based before lighting diyas or candles. Sanitisers are inflammable and can cause fire hazards. It is recommended by the experts that you wash your hands with soap and water, before doing anything that involves fire.
Keep Sanitiser Away From Fire
Sanitiser bottles are common in households, and people have started keeping it handy during COVID-19 pandemic. But, since maximum sanitisers are alcohol-based, they can easily catch fire. Therefore, keep your sanitiser bottles at a safe spot.
Keep Water Handy
Instead of carrying sanitisers everywhere, you can consider carrying water and paper soaps. They are safer, and you can easily wash your hands anywhere without the danger of catching fire.
Maintain Physical Distance
Festivity is all about togetherness and strengthening bonds. But this festive season, try and adjust to the new normal and avoid meeting people physically.
Avoid Greeting Others With A Hug
Namaste is the best way to greet people right now. It is recommended that you celebrate Diwali this year by staying indoors.
Refrain From Eating Outside
While there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transferred through cooked food, it is recommended that people should avoid eating outside during the festive season. This is not just because of the risk of COVID-19, but because food from outside can cause other stomach infections, which can affect your immunity and overall health. Also, nothing is better than home-cooked, traditional meal on a festival, said the doctor.
Wear Your Mask
It is significant to be responsible and take mandatory precautions. COVID-19 has made the use of mask necessary. Therefore, every time you step out, don’t forget to cover your nose and mouth.
Doctor Jai Mullerpattan, Consultant Respiratory Diseases, PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC
Dr Mullerpattan concurred that one should stay indoors during Diwali. Talking to India Today TV, the doctor said that there is still no proven evidence whether COVID-19 virus sustains itself or amplifies in the presence of smoke. However, second-hand smoke, emitted from either cigarettes, vehicles and crackers, can cause problems to patients living with respiratory issues and even the ones who are not.
Excessive exposure to smoke can put an individual at risk, and there is a higher possibility of developing respiratory symptoms like cough, wheezing, or burning sensation in the eyes. Occasionally, an individual can also develop symptoms like fever, he told India Today TV.
“If an individual is already living with asthma, damaged or an inflamed respiratory system or other lung-related issues, they can be more prone to getting effected. This could be either due to Covid-19 virus or other viruses and bacteria as well. They can develop complications from objects that emit smoke,” Doctor Jai Mullerpattan said.
The senior doctor added that if one has a lung problem or is old, it is important to self-regulate and stay indoors, to prevent direct exposure to the smoke emitted from crackers.