The Karnataka government and the Chandigarh administration on Friday banned the use of firecrackers ahead of Diwali, ANI reported. Both governments cited the coronavirus spread among their reasons.

“We have taken a decision not to allow bursting of firecrackers in the state, in wake of Covid-19 pandemic,” Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said. “The order will be released soon.” The Karnataka government had tasked a Technical Advisory Committee for Covid-19 to submit its recommendations regarding the ban on firecrackers, according to The News Minute.

Similarly, Advisor to the Chandigarh administration Manoj Parida said in an order that the ban was issued as a containment measure to prevent the risk of spread of the coronavirus. “These orders will come into force with immediate effect and will remain in force until further orders,” the order said.

Persons violating the order in the Union territory will be charged under provisions of the Disaster Management Act and Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

A number of states including Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim and West Bengal have already taken similar decisions, keeping in mind the view of several experts that air pollution can add to Covid-19 -related mortality.

Karnataka reported over 3,100 new coronavirus cases and 31 deaths on Thursday, taking the total infections to over 8.38 lakh, according to NDTV. Chandigarh has a total of 14,794 coronavirus cases, including 229 deaths and 703 active cases, the health ministry data showed.

Meanwhile on Monday, the National Green Tribunal issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and state governments of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on the ban of firecrackers from November 7 to November 30 in the interest of public health and environment.