India is currently going through the second wave of deadly COVID-19. In the past 24 hours, India has registered 62,714 fresh coronavirus cases, the Covid-19 tally in India has climbed to 1,19,71,624. Looking at the high rates of coronavirus infections many states in India have imposed restrictions on the public celebration of Holi.
The health authorities and experts are worried over the possibility that if people don’t adhere to Covid-19 protocol the upcoming festivals of Holi and Shab-e-Baraat may turn into super-spreader events.
The festival of colours will be celebrated on March 29 (Monday) with Holika Dahan on March 28, 2021 (Sunday).
On Saturday, Delhi Police appealed to people to avoid public gatherings on Holi and celebrate the festival at home. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on March 23 ordered that there would be no public celebrations in the national capital during the upcoming festivals such as Holi and Navaratri.
Citing the DDMA order, Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal urged the people to follow COVID-19 protocol, adding that public celebrations and gatherings during Holi shall not be allowed in public places like grounds, parks, markets, or religious places.
The Uttarakhand government has issued fresh guidelines for celebrations of the Holi festival. The Uttarakhand government’s guidelines include,
During Holika Dahan, only 50 percent of people will be allowed to be present. Those above 60 years of age and children below ten years are advised not to participate in the ceremony and celebrations.
The Haryana government on Wednesday banned public celebrations of the upcoming Holi festival.
“The Haryana government has banned public celebrations of Holi in view of (rise in the number of cases of) corona..,” Home and Health Minister Anil Vij said in a tweet.
With lockdown imposed in Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur, and several other cities. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan urged people to celebrate Holi at home. CM Chouhan said, “To prevent the COVID-19 spread, I urge you all to celebrate the festival (Holi) at your home. Your contribution is important to fight the disease, so practice your rituals by staying at home.”
With the sudden upsurge of coronavirus cases, the civil and district authorities have announced a ban on Holi celebrations in both private and public places. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has urged people to not venture out unnecessarily during Holi celebrations and strictly follow Covid-19 norms.
“I wish you all a very happy Holi. But this year we all have to be very careful. Don’t go out unnecessarily. It’s not safe. If we are safe and sound then we will play Holi in a bigger fashion next year,” said Kishori Pednekar.
In Bihar, the state government on Saturday issued an order asking people not to congregate at public places on the day of the Holi festival.
The order issued by the Home department also said that the ‘minimum number’ of people will be allowed to gather at one place during Holika Dahan, the ritual performed on the eve of the Holi festival and Shab-e-Barat.
The Jharkhand government on Friday issued fresh advisories to avoid any possibility of coronavirus spread in the wake of festivals such as Holi, Easter, Eid, and Shab-e-Barat.
As per the order, the Jharkhand government has imposed a ban on processions and mass gatherings at public places for the upcoming festivals.
Health secretary Gautami Parmekar issued an order on Friday saying a few restrictions have been imposed in the celebration of festivals like Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Easter, and Eid-ul-Fitr with regard to SOP issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
On March 24, the government had ordered that no public function would be held on the two festivals due to the rising coronavirus cases. However, the state government’s Home Department relaxed the ban on public functions through a revised notification on Friday.
The government has restricted the timing of holding public functions only between 4 pm and 10 pm on March 28 and 29. In its new notification, the government, however, said no more than 50 people would be allowed to participate in these functions.