Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday said that his administration has decided to ban the sale and bursting of firecrackers to protect the health of coronavirus patients and the public.

“In order to protect the health of Covid-19 infected patients and general public due to poisonous smoke emanating from firecrackers, strict action has been taken to prohibit the sale of firecrackers in the state and restrict the movement of vehicles without fitness certificate,” Gehlot tweeted.

The chief minister said that poisonous smoke emanating from fireworks was a health hazard for Covid-19 patients and those with heart ailments. “In such a situation, people should avoid fireworks during Diwali,” he said.

The chief minister’s instructions had been passed on to ban the temporary licence for the sale of firecrackers and that fireworks “should also be stopped during weddings and other functions”.

Gehlot also announced that his administration will come up with a new legislation that will make masks mandatory. “Rajasthan will be the first state in the country to make masks compulsory to prevent the coronavirus...masks are currently the only vaccine against Covid-19,” he said.

The chief minister also said the recruitment process of 2,000 doctors in Rajasthan should be completed soon. Those selected should be given appointments within 10 days, Gehlot added.

During the discussion on “Unlock 6”, the state’s Principal Secretary (Home) Abhay Kumar said educational institutions, including coaching centres, in the state will remain shut for regular educational activities till November 16, the statement added, according to PTI.

The state government said that swimming pools, cinema halls, multiplexes and entertainment parks, among others, will be shut till November 30. The maximum number of guests at weddings should be 100.

Meanwhile, for social and political events in open places, district collectors may issue permission for a maximum of 250 people, provided they maintain six feet distance, reported the Hindustan Times. In indoor halls, 50% of capacity with a maximum of 200 people will be allowed on condition that they use masks and maintain social distance.