Covid, Pollution Biggest Evils: Delhi Minister's Dussehra Message

The national capital on Saturday recorded 4,116 fresh COVID-19 cases, its highest single-day spike in 35 days. The number of deaths due to the virus has also climbed to 6,225.

The event at Manish Sisodia's residence was organised by the Luv Kush Ramlila Committee.

New Delhi:

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today celebrated  Dussehra at his residence with a firecracker-free Ravana effigy. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader also made an appeal to the people to avoid use of firecrackers as they celebrate the festival amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"My best wishes to everybody on Dussehra. Today we celebrate the victory of good over evil.  Pollution and Covid are the biggest 'rakshas' (evils) of today. I appeal to everybody that all of you take an oath to celebrate a pollution free Dussehra and  Diwali and we need to fight these evils together," Mr Sisodia said

The event at Mr Sisodia's residence was organised by the Luv Kush Ramlila Committee, which is renowned for the Ramlila at Red Fort that is attended by the Prime Minister and President.

Arjun Kumar, Head of Luv Kush Ramlila Committee said, "The pollution levels are so high. We brought an effigy that has no firecrackers. It is not just the Red Fort Ramleela that is not happening this year, in general also the celebrations are very subdued this year. Keeping Covid and pollution in mind, even in the 1 or 2 Ramleelas that are happening across the city no Ravana effigies will be burnt."

The national capital has been witnessing a sudden rise in the number of coronavirus amid rising pollution levels in the city. Many have pointed out that the surge in cases -- Delhi on Saturday recorded its highest single-day spike in 35 days -- could be due to deteorating air quality in the city-state.

The Delhi government has launched a number of campaigns to control the national capital's air quality which has deteorated drastically since last month. Arvind Kejriwal government has also set up a "war room" to monitor all anti-pollution measures being taken by his government.

Mr Sisodia's party, AAP, has accused the Union government of "inaction" over the issue, which the Delhi-based party claims is due to burning of crops in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana.

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"Pollution and stubble-burning are not just issues pertaining to Delhi but this affects the whole of north India. It is a matter of regret that the central government did not take any action during the year and now, the whole country will pay for it," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader had said recently.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also asked the centre to intervene over the matter, saying polluted air can be life-threatening in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Polluted air can be life-threatening in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both affect lungs," he said.

The national capital on Saturday recorded 4,116 fresh COVID-19 cases, its highest single-day spike in 35 days. The number of deaths due to the virus has also climbed to 6,225.

This is the second consecutive day when over 4,000 cases were recorded in the city. On Friday, 4,086 cases were recorded.

With the 4,116 fresh infections, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi has climbed to 3,52,520, the Delhi government said.