Delhi, Mumbai ban Holi celebrations in public amid coronavirus surge
As the coronavirus cases are surging countrywide, Delhi and Mumbai passed orders prohibiting residents from celebrating Holi in public. The civic body of the Maharashtra capital — Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) — put out a tweet last evening informing about the new rules. Later, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) also passed similar orders. Celebrations have also been banned in Chandigarh, Gujarat, and Odisha.
How bad is the coronavirus situation?
On Tuesday, Delhi added 1,101 fresh COVID-19 cases to its tally, a figure not seen in several months. It was on December 19 that the number of new cases was this high — Delhi had reported 1,139 new cases at the time. Meanwhile, on Monday, Mumbai recorded 3,262 fresh cases. Maharashtra, the worst-affected Indian state, now has 25,33,026 total cases.
Issuing directives, BMC said offenders will face action
With the festive season upon India, local governing bodies have imposed curbs to stem the spread of the contagious disease. BMC's tweet read, "Let's Celebrate After The Virus Has Been Chased! All private/public celebration of Holika Dahan & Rang Panchami has been prohibited to ensure COVIDー19 doesn't play a spoilsport. (sic)" The civic body added that action will be taken against offenders.
'We request Mumbaikars to cooperate'
Let’s Celebrate After The Virus Has Been Chased!— माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) March 23, 2021
All private/public celebration of Holika Dahan Rang Panchami has been prohibited to ensure #COVIDー19 doesn’t play a spoilsport.
We request Mumbaikars to cooperate. Strict action will be taken against offenders.#MiJababdar pic.twitter.com/I10KX7i9Pm
Gatherings during upcoming festivals could ruin the appreciable gains: DDMA
Similarly, Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) announced there will be no public celebrations on Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Navratri etc., as it "may pose a considerable threat of the spread of the virus and may cause a setback to the appreciable gains made in the suppression of chain of transmission of COVID-19 cases." Parks, grounds, markets, religious places, etc., are included in public places, the authorities said.
People violating instructions will be penalized
"In case any person is found violating the aforesaid instructions, the defaulting person(s) shall be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act, 2005, Section 188 of IPC and other applicable laws," the DDMA went on.
Random coronavirus tests to be done at airports
Further, the Delhi government will also conduct random coronavirus tests at airports, bus and railway stations. Random coronavirus tests will also be done at crowded boarding points for private buses. All district magistrates and senior police personnel have been ordered to strictly adhere to the instructions. The government wants coronavirus-linked precautions to be religiously followed in public places, especially markets and malls.
Similar curbs have been imposed in Chandigarh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh
Meanwhile, the Chandigarh administration ruled that public gatherings on Holi will be banned. The Gujarat government won't allow Holi celebrations but will permit Holika Dahan, with some restrictions. In Odisha, no religious, cultural congregations will be allowed on Holi. However, people have been permitted to visit temples, while respecting coronavirus-necessitated protocols. The Uttar Pradesh government hasn't allowed people in high-risk categories to participate in festivities.