Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 4
Delhi on Tuesday became the first state in India to impose a blanket ban on the use of hookahs, including herbal hookahs, in all public places to prevent the transmission of SARS-Cov2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.
Invoking powers under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 the Delhi government last night notified the ban citing WHO evidence that tobacco use was a major risk factor for COVID transmission.
“Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers
(and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth. Smokers may also already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness. Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission ofCOVID-19 in communal and social settings,” said the Delhi government order.
Detailing the risk factors the state said “the use of Hookah (with and without tobacco i.e. herbal hookah, water pipes and other hookah like devices) in all public places, including hotels, restaurants, eatery houses, bars, pubs and discotheques of the NCT of Delhi is strictly prohibited with immediate effect for the purpose of prevention and control of the outbreak of epidemic disease namely COVID-19.”
Smokers and hookah users are more vulnerable to COVID because they are among people who could face conditions that increase oxygen needs or reduce the ability of the body to use it properly will putting them at higher risk of the consequences of bilateral viral pneumonia.
Delhi has been reporting a reduced number of new cases daily and is now planning to ensure prevention of transmission by all possible routes.
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