COVID-19 norms flouted across country as people celebrate Holi

Even as state governments issued new guidelines prohibiting mass gatherings during the Holi festival amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases, thousands converged in many places across the country to celebrate Holi.

New Delhi: Despite directives and guidelines from the government amid the spike in COVID-19 cases across many states in the country, people came out in large numbers countrywide to celebrate Holi in a grand manner on Monday.

In Hyderabad, though many had cancelled party plans and events at different venues after the state government imposed restrictions on festivals to contain the spread of Covid-19, people in several areas chose to ignore the warnings. Ignoring Covid-19 safety measures like wearing of face mask and maintaining physical distance, people were seen gathered in large numbers for celebrations.

Not just in Hyderabad, the COVID protocols went for a toss in Mumbai as people gathered in crowds to celebrate Holi. The city had on Sunday recorded nearly 7,000 fresh COVID-19 cases, even as Maharashtra as a whole added more than 40 thousand new cases. But for some, this wasn’t deterrent enough, and officials in the city have been kept busy chasing down rebellious citizens.

In Mumbai’s Mahim area, for example, around 100-150 people were seen stepping out of their homes to celebrate. Predominantly mask-less, they danced to loud music, even as some people were spotted wearing PPE suits.

Mumbai: People celebrate ‘Holi’ festival amid spike in COVID-19 cases, in Mumbai, Monday, March 29, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Many have also tagged the Mumbai Police on Twitter, with the official handle repeatedly assuring that their complaint had been forwarded to the Main Control Room.

The Holi celebration visual from Uttar Pradesh has also left many in a state of panic. Thousands converged at the Banke Bihari Temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Vrindavan to celebrate the festival.

In a video tweeted by news agency ANI, thousands of devotees, without facemasks, were seen thronging the famous Mathura temple while tossing colours in the air.

Interestingly, priests are heard requesting the sea of crowd to back away from the temple entrance.

Amid fears of a fresh Covid-19 surge during the festive season, the Uttar Pradesh government had last week issued directions for “aggressive Covid tests” at airports, bus stations and railway stations, and said the Covid-19 vaccination drive would be intensified.

All kinds of processions have also been banned during the festive season in the state without the administration’s permission. If permission is granted, all those involved will have to follow the basic Covid-19 protocols such as social distancing, wearing face masks and using sanitisers. Further, those above 60 years or younger than 10, and people with co-morbidities will not be allowed to participate in any gathering.

Visuals from Bihar’s Patna show a group of children playing with colours on the road. 

Goa too has more than its fair share of people, all wandering around cheerfully and playing around without any apparent concept of social distancing.

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