Aizawl, November 24: The Mizoram government has decided to ban the bursting of firecrackers on Christmas and New Year to curb air pollution which could aggravate respiratory problems of COVID-19 patients and others, an official said on Tuesday.
The decision in this regard was taken during a high- level meeting chaired by Home Minister Lachamliana on Monday, he said.
Apart from firecrackers, the use of sky lanterns and other pyrotechnics including toy guns has also been banned, the official said.
Prohibitory orders in this regard will be issued by deputy commissioners, he said.
During the meeting, it was also decided to set up special police checkpoints and conduct mobile patrolling during the festive season, the official said.
Apart from the police, COVID-19 local task force volunteers will be roped in for the purpose, he said.
Bursting of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials is a widespread practice during the festive season in the Christian-majority state.
The state government had earlier banned firecrackers to enable people to celebrate the festival in a peaceful manner but this year the administration is more concerned about pollution in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
State Health and Family Welfare Board Vice Chairman Dr Z R Thiamsanga said this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations are likely to be subdued due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The government is unlikely to allow congregational singing called ‘Zaikhawm’ or community feasts, integral parts of the festivities along with church service, as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the disease, he said.
Health Minister Dr R Lalthangliana will convene a meeting during the day to deliberate on coronavirus-related issues in view of the festive season, he added.
The state has so far reported 3,710 COVID-19 cases, of which 452 are active. (PTI)