Bengaluru: Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Minister K Sudhakar on Wednesday said that the state was also seriously considering a statewide ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers during the 17-day Diwali festival.
The final decision on the ban will, however, be taken only after consultations with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, he added.
Speaking to reporters here, the Minister said that a few rounds of meetings have been held with health experts, including members of the state’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
“Experts have felt that firecrackers can badly impact the health of those who have already been infected by Covid-19 and even those who are not. However, I have asked them to further deliberate and submit a report soon. Based on their report, we will discuss the matter with the Chief Minister and take a call,” the Minister added.
As Covid-19 affects lungs the most, even those who have recover will be vulnerable as their immunity and respiratory system will still be fragile. Therefore, the TAC has felt that it will be ideal to impose a ban on firecrackers this time, he claimed.
Odisha, West Bengal and Rajasthan have already banned the sale and bursting of firecrackers during Diwali. Haryana has cracked down on the sale of imported firecrackers.
Last month, Karnataka Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar had issued Diwali guidelines on the sale of crackers, which makes it mandatory for the retail sellers to sanitise their shops on a daily basis.
Besides, as per the Covid protocols, both sellers and buyers must wear masks and it must be strictly enforced by sellers during Diwali.
The guidelines also mandate that the seller should not allow people to gather around their shops in large numbers.
Diwali is celebrated for 17 days in the state beginning November 1.