More than a billion Indians celebrated Diwali on Saturday amid growing concerns about the rise in corona virus infections and rising air pollution, which are melting into a cloud of toxic smoke in the north of the country.
Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, is usually celebrated by exchanging gifts with friends and family, and by lighting oil lamps or candles, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness. Fireworks are also an important part of the celebrations.
But this year, some of the celebrations of the epidemic in India, especially in the capital Delhi, which has seen a renewed increase in corona virus infections in recent weeks, are being tolerated, including any More new cases have been recorded than in any other Indian state.
On Saturday, many temples across the country held online prayer meetings to avoid large gatherings. In Delhi, anxious residents opted for less important events. Some people even stayed at home and did not visit friends or relatives.
“This is not a normal Diwali,” said Vishwas Malik, a 47-year-old Delhi professor. Gift exchange is low and we don’t talk to people. We haven’t been to people’s homes for fear of the corona virus.
In an effort to persuade people to stay at home, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and some of his ministers held a prayer service at a grand temple. Prayers were broadcast on television and social media.
Kejriwal had said last week that epidemics were spreading rapidly in the capital due to rising air pollution. He appealed to the people not to set off firecrackers on Diwali in the hope of reducing the harmful effects of toxic air on people at high risk during epidemics. In Delhi, notorious bad pollution often causes spikes.
The relationship between air pollution and the deteriorating Cove 19 cases is currently largely theoretical. But several researchers say that in addition to factors such as wearing a mask, social distance, population density and temperature, dirty air should also be considered a key factor in the spread of the corona virus.
India has confirmed 8.7 million cases of corona virus, including 129,000 deaths. Although it ranks second in the world in total behind the United States, daily infections have been declining since mid-September.
Buyers in Delhi had set up markets across the country, raising concerns among health experts, who warned that the crowds could lead to a resurgence of the virus that could affect India’s healthcare system. Can dominate the system. But during the Diwali race, messages urging people to stay at home during the festival were scattered around the city through the WhatsApp.
“This Diwali is more about survival. It’s about being thankful that we’re still able to breathe and live for this day. Please stay home, “read a message like this.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, continuing his tradition of celebrating Diwali with Indian troops, flew to a military post in the western state of Rajasthan where he distributed sweets to soldiers and rode tanks.
“You may be in the snow-capped mountains or deserts, but my Diwali will be complete only when I celebrate with you,” Modi told the troops.
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