Amid an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on March 23 announced that Holi celebrations will not be permitted in both private and public places.
The circular, issued by BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, said that considering the surge in cases and in view to avoid any crowding in the city, ‘Holi Dahan’ or the burning of Holi fire on March 28 and ‘Rangpanchmi’ celebrations on March 29 will not be allowed.
Mumbai city reported 3,514 new cases and eight deaths on March 23, taking its cumulative caseload to 3,69,451 and death toll to 11,604. The Mumbai division which includes surrounding regions too reported 6,870 new cases.
Meanwhile, Delhi, which has also seen a surge in coronavirus cases, banned all gatherings on the occasions of Holi, Navaratri, and Shab-e-Barat.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has warned of penal action against those found flouting the government order barring congregations on the upcoming festive occasions.
“It is anticipated that gathering, congregations and public celebrations during upcoming festivals like Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Navratri, etc., 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 in Delhi,” it said.
“Considering this, it has been decided that public celebrations and all gatherings/congregations during upcoming festivities should not be allowed in public places,” the order stated.
Gujarat government has also prohibited Holi celebrations due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, However, the state allowed ‘Holika Dahan’ gathering with crowd restrictions.
The government will only allow ‘Holika Dahan’, a pyre lighting ritual symbolizing the victory of good over evil on the eve of Holi, that too with a limited number of people in housing societies and villages, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel had said.