On April 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation through a video message, first time after the announcement of 21-day lockdown. In his message, he appealed to the citizens to express solidarity in the country's fight against Cornoavirus by lighting candles, diyas or torches and switching off all electricity. He called it a move to beat the darkness caused by the pandemic. While citizens are expected to follow his appeal, an important message is being passed on social media sites including WhatsApp, on precautions to be taken while lighting diyas or candles, if you are using an alcohol-based sanitiser. The sanitisers that have been advised for usage have a high amount of alcohol and are thus highly inflammable. Contact with a flammable object can cause serious injuries. Coronavirus Precautions: Hand Sanitizer vs Hand Washing, Which Is a Better Option to Protect Against COVID-19?
A lot of messages are being forwarded online after Modi's announcement of lighting diyas, candles and torch on April 5 at 9 PM. One of the WhatsApp message reads, "*Be Alert* 🔴 Humble Request *Those of you who plan to burn "Diya/Candle" on 5th April 2020 @ 9 pm, please do ensure that there is no Sanitizer on your Hand* Pass on this message to maximum groups / your contacts." It is very important to keep this in mind because there has been a case, when a man in Delhi suffered burn injuries after using hand sanitizer near a gas stove. Following the incident, even the doctor had issued a warning about not using hand sanitizers near any fire or heating place as the alcohol content in them can cause severe burns.
Check Prasar Bharati's Tweet on The Same:
— Prasar Bharati News Services (@PBNS_India) April 4, 2020
Precautions to Take
- Before you participate in the activity of burning diyas and candles tomorrow, ensure you or family members haven't applied any hand sanitizer.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before you go to light the fire.
- Ensure there is no bottle of sanitizer kept near the window or anywhere near where you'd light the candles.
- Handrub dispensers should not be placed above or close to potential sources of ignition, such as light switches and electrical outlets, or next to oxygen or other medical gas outlets, due to the increased risk of vapours igniting.
- After you are done with the lighting of candles and diyas, keep it away safely and then once again wash your hands clean.
Following the outbreak of COVID 19, the demand for hand sanitizers and the usage has highly increased. Sanitizers are essential to protect against the spread of germs and viruses. Although the alcohol-based formula in these sanitizers works quickly to cut down the number of germs on the skin although it does not kill them all.