Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the COVID-19 situation is deteriorating in the national capital due to rising air pollution and appealed to people to avoid bursting firecrackers this Diwali.
While addressing an online media briefing, Kejriwal said he along with his cabinet ministers will perform Laxmi Puja at 7.39 pm on November 14 and urged people to join them from their homes by watching it on television.
"Please don't burst crackers at any cost. You're playing with the lives of your own family by bursting crackers. On 14th Nov, 7.49 pm onwards, all 2 crores Delhi citizens will perform Laxmi Puja together. I'll begin Puja which will be telecast live on TV," said Arvind Kejriwal.
The chief minister said that at present, Delhi has been facing two issues - the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising air pollution - adding that the AAP government is making all efforts to deal with the situation.
A layer of smoky haze lingered over Delhi-NCR as air quality index (AQI) continues to remain in the 'very poor' and 'severe' category in several areas with rise of pollutants in the atmosphere.
Delhi's overall air pollution recorded at 333 (very poor) in the morning, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). In Gurugram, the AQI stood at 432 (severe category), as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. Amid the rise in pollution levels, people are having problems with breathing and some children have started facing throat problems due to contaminated air.
(Inputs from Agencies)