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Diwali festwal hit by Coronavirus pandemic and pollution

The Show Time

Diwali celebrations in India have taken a more sombre tone this year, as the double spectres of the pandemic and pollution cast a shadow over festivities. The Hindu festival of light is the most important celebration of the year for many in India and this weekend would usually be marked by raucous parties and fireworks displays. However, the preparations and planned celebrations across the country have been unusually muted, particularly in the capital, Delhi, where coronavirus cases have reached record levels and the city's annual pollution hit "emergency" levels and enveloped the city in a thick toxic smog. India is the second-worst affected country by the Covid-19 pandemic, with 8.73m cases. Overall, new cases have been declining across the country over the past month but health experts fear Diwali could be a "super-spreader event that could prompt a second wave, especially if people throng to temples and relatives' homes as normal. Gatherings of up to 200 people are still allowed but over the past month, India's health minister, Harsh Vardhan, has been campaigning for people to have a socially distanced Diwali

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