The Haryana government on Friday followed suit with a number of other states to impose a complete ban on the sale of firecrackers in the state ahead of Diwali. The decision was confirmed by the Twitter handle of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s office.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Khattar said that the decision was taken to prevent the risk of spread of the coronavirus infection due to pollution caused by crackers, The Indian Express reported. The chief minister also said that a notice would be issued on the decision on Saturday.

At least 21 Covid-19 patients died in last 24 hours while 2,267 new cases of infections were reported in Haryana, according to The Indian Express.

The Karnataka and Chandigarh governments also took similar decisions on Friday, followed by Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim and West Bengal administrations who had made the announcements earlier. Several experts have pointed out that air pollution can add to Covid-19 -related mortality.

Earlier 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.

Meanwhile, over 30 kg of illegal firecrackers were recovered from a shop in Delhi’s Dabri area on Friday, reported PTI. The shopkeeper has been arrested and a case registered in this regard under sections of the Explosives Act at Dabri police station.