Delhi, Mumbai ban Holi celebrations in public amid Covid surge

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By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
March 23, 2021 10:30:25 pm

Mumbai, CovidA health workers take a nasal swab sample of a person for testing at Crawford Market in Mumbai. (Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

Public celebration and gatherings for upcoming festivals, including Holi, have been prohibited in Delhi and Mumbai amid a renewed surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.

The Uttar Pradesh government, on the other hand, has issued a set of guidelines asking senior citizens and vulnerable groups to stay away from celebrations and said no processions or gatherings will be allowed without prior administrative permission.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority stated that amid rising Covid-19 cases in NCT of Delhi, public celebrations for upcoming festivals such as Holi, Navratri and gatherings in general, will not be allowed. “All district magistrates and concerned authorities should ensure strict adherence to the order,” it stated.

The Mumbai civic body also banned Holi celebrations, parties or gatherings in public places, hotels and resorts.

Uttar Pradesh also issued a set of guidelines asking senior citizens, those with comorbidities and children below 10 years to stay away from gatherings.

The fresh directive, while emphasising strict implementation of the anti-Covid measures, also stipulated that no procession or public programmes would be allowed without prior administrative permission.

Amid #COVID19 scare, UP govt issues guidelines ahead of Holi festival; no procession to be carried out without prior permission. People above 60 years of age, children below 10 years of age & people with co-morbodities not to participate

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 23, 2021

UP Chief Secretary R K Tiwari issued the directive a day after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a high-level meeting on the Covid situation in the state.

The directive issued to all district and division-level officers said the Covid testing of all those coming to UP during the Holi festival from the states reporting high numbers of infections will be necessary. It also stipulated that organisers will not allow people above 60 or below 10 years of age or those having serious ailments to participate in such events.

The government also declared Holi holidays in all schools up to Class VIII from March 24 to 31. It mandated Covid tests for passengers at railway stations, bus stations and airports besides reactivating Covid helpdesks, running dedicated Covid hospitals in all districts and keeping other hospitals ready for any future needs.

The directive also laid the responsibility of implementing precautionary measures like maintaining social distancing and wearing of masks by the people participating in these programmes on their organisers.

(With inputs from PTI)

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