A call was made to the municipal authorities by the Government of the Valley to take control measures against gunpowder in their localities.
Through decree 1-17-1386 of 2023, the Government requested the municipal authorities to prohibit the production, marketing and manipulation of pyrotechnic elements made with white phosphorus, and to take control and surveillance measures on the use and manipulation of gunpowder in the department.
Camilo Murcia, Secretary of Security and Coexistence of the Valley, said that “the decree on gunpowder has been issued to prevent our boys and girls from being affected at the end of the year, we are looking for the month of Coexistence as Good, strengthening the capabilities of the public force specifically in Santiago de Cali. We are going to have 200 Coexistence managers who will be in the 42 municipalities with special emphasis on 8 transport terminals and the Government will have all the logistical support for the additional force.”
From the Government of Valle del Cauca together with the departmental Police, different actions are being coordinated to control gunpowder.
The official stated that “we have been focused on working at the Cali Fair where nearly 1,000 police officers will be assigned to the security of the district within the framework of these festivities. “We want to lower the indicators with reference to the other year with reference to people burned in the department.”
The Government of the Valley calls on all citizens to comply with the recommendations and measures of the authorities, to be able to enjoy the December festivities without gunpowder and with family.
Health experts called for “Zero Pólvora” to avoid injuries during the Noche de Velitas celebration, in order to prevent injuries, burns and emergencies due to improper handling of explosive devices.
Johanna Hernández, plastic surgeon at the Burns Unit of the Hospital Universitario del Valle stated that “December 7 is when we light the candles and people take the opportunity to buy gunpowder, as always the call is for prevention. We want zero gunpowder, there is no gunpowder that is safe, even the sparks that are seen to do nothing can burn children’s corneas; a spark can jump and burn a child’s clothing. Gunpowder will always be negotiable, we do not want to expose adults or children.”
The risks from handling gunpowder in inexperienced hands are varied.
Mrs. Hernández warned that “when there are burns from these explosive elements, they cause amputations of special areas of people. For example, if you are lighting a ‘flyer’ you may be left without hands, without fingers, you may be left with hearing disorders and the foreign body may even jump into your eyes, so nothing is harmless.”
If burn emergencies occur, “if there is combustion in any part of the body, what you do is extinguish the patient, as the fire feeds on oxygen, then what you should do is drown the fire with a wet blanket, one He applies it to the patient. If we are talking about combustion in clothing, if it was burned with paraffin, with a candle or with something smaller, the recommendation is a stream of running water for 20 minutes, what the water does is reduce the thermal effect of the burn then reaching rescues the skin,” the specialist recommended.
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