New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday ordered complete ban on firecrackers ahead of Diwali. The move comes in wake of the worsening pollution levels in the national capital and the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases. 

The decision came after the chief minister reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the national capital ahead of Diwali. He said that the rise in coronavirus cases in the national capital was due to the festival season and the rising pollution levels. 

"Reviewed corona situation in Delhi and preparedness with Chief Secy, Health officials and all DMs. Corona cases have increased due to festival season and pollution. It was decided to: 1. Ban crackers in Delhi, 2. Ramp up medical infra, Oxygen and ICU beds are being increased in Delhi govt hospitals," Kejriwal said in a tweet.

Delhi has been witnessing a sharp spike in coronavirus cases in the last few days with the number of daily infections crossing the 6,000-mark for the second straight day on Wednesday. 

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal said the COVID-19 situation is deteriorating in the national capital due to the rising air pollution and appealed to people not to burst firecrackers. 

On Wednesday, Delhi saw yet another record single-day jump of 6,800 COVID-19 infections as Kejriwal had said the city was witnessing the "third wave" of the virus amid rising pollution levels and festive season. 

Meanwhile, on Thursday evening, a layer of haze lingered over the national capital and its suburbs, with raging farm fires and a fall in the wind speed and temperatures pushing air quality to the worst levels in around a year.  

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta