COVID-19 ‘second wave’ in India ahead of Holi, many states raise red flags

The COVID-19 cases have been rising at an alarming rate prompting states like Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka to impose strict COVID-19 measures. Lockdowns, nightcurfews have been imposed in many districts and cities to stop the spread of the infection.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan claimed that people have become complacent in following the COVID-19 safety protocols which has resulted in the recent surge. Further, he urged that citizens should not let their guard down against the infection, else the situation may turn “dangerous.”

“I want to appeal to people of the country that they should not let the COVID appropriate behavior get weakened at any cost. Maintaining social distancing, wearing masks properly and washing hands with soap probably are the biggest tools to win the fight against COVID-19,” said Vardhan.

He added that the two vaccines are the second tool in this fight against contagion.

Uttar Pradesh: Yogi issues COVID guidelines ahead of Holi

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has issued guidelines for Holi celebrations in view of the increasing COVID cases in the state.

The guidelines, issued by chief secretary R.K. Tiwari on Tuesday, stated that permission will have to be taken for any public function or procession that is organized on Holi.

Even after obtaining permission, the organizers will have to maintain social distancing and follow other safety protocols.

People above 60 years, children below 10 years and those having comorbidities, have been advised to remain indoors during the festival.

The guidelines further state that persons coming from states that have a high virus load, will have to undergo Covid tests.

Dedicated Covid hospitals will continue to remain operational in every district and tracking, testing and treatment will be aggressively pursued. Covid help desk are also being revived.

People will be urged through the public address systems to continue following safety protocols.

Inmates of all jails in the state will be subjected to Covid tests if they have ventured out of the prison.

Gujarat: No Holi celebrations, only Holika Dahan allowed

The Gujarat government on Sunday said permission won’t be granted for Holi celebrations due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state though the religious ritual of ‘Holika Dahan’ associated with the festival can take place 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 said.

Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, said people won’t be allowed to form crowds to throw color at each other, a prime part of the boisterous celebrations associated with Holi.

“No permission is granted for celebration of Holi. Action will be taken against violators. However, I believe the people of Gujarat will follow rules and will not play Holi,” Patel said.

Odisha:  Government asks not to people celebrate ‘Holi’ in public places

The state government in Odisha has issued a guideline, urging people to observe the ‘Dola’ and Holi festivals in a low-key manner.

While the ‘Dola’ festival will begin from March 23, Holi will be celebrated on March 29.

“Congregation for the celebration of ‘Dolayatra‘ and associated religious and cultural congregations shall not be allowed in public throughout the State. Religious rituals in temples will continue as usual with strict adherence to Covid protocols,” it said.

“Considering local conditions, Collectors & Municipal Commissioners may impose an appropriate restriction on entry of devotees into temples & celebrations in temples & religious places. Dola Melans if any, maybe allowed with an appropriate number of participants,” the statement noted.

“Holi’ on 28th & 29th and their related rituals shall not be observed in public places throughout the state. People may celebrate ‘Holi’ with family members in their houses only and not in any public places including public roads,” the statement further noted.

Meanwhile the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police in Odisha have issued a guideline, urging people to observe the ‘Dola’ and Holi festivals in a low-key manner.

“Due to the second spike of the pandemic and to prevent its further spread, it is felt necessary to observe the month-end festivals in a low-key manner and as per the prevailing guidelines,” said a notification issued by the office of the DCP on Friday.

All Inspectors-in-Charge (IICs) of city police stations have been instructed to discuss with the ‘Dola’ festival organizers strict adherence of guidelines and prevent large public gatherings.

Chandigarh: Schools, colleges shut, Holi-milan gatherings banned

The Chandigarh administration on March 22, 2021 announced to shut down all schools and colleges till March 31. The officials also said that all public Holi-milan gatherings will be banned. 

The decisions were taken by the Governor of Punjab and Chandigarh Administrator VP Singh Badnore during a War Room meeting. 

Expressing deep concern about the rising coronavirus cases he suggested that the contact tracing should be intensified and all those, who came into contact with COVID-19 positive cases must be mandatorily tested.  

He also mentioned that visitors reaching Chandigarh by bus, train, air and other public transport modes should be invariably screened and wherever symptoms found, those people must be tested to check infection.

Madhya Pradesh: CM urges people to celebrate Holi at home

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday asked the state officials to launch an awareness campaign about the importance of wearing masks. He also urged people to celebrate the upcoming festival of Holi at their homes.

Bihar:  government bans gatherings on Holi 

The Bihar government has banned gatherings at public places on Holi and has made it mandatory for passengers from Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala to carry Covid-19 negative test reports while entering the state from Wednesday onwards.

The directions were issued after a meeting of the crisis management group chaired by chief secretary Arun Kumar Singh in the light of the coronavirus pandemic taking an upward trajectory in several states, particularly in Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala.

Singh also directed all 38 district magistrates to inspect Covid care centers and revive them to meet any eventuality. They have been asked to ensure that ventilators and other facilities are in place.

A large number of people are expected to return to their native places in Bihar for Holi increasing the risk of spread of the coronavirus. Banning celebrations at public places, including roads and streets, will help curb the spread of the coronavirus. However, people can participate in the festival of colors in their homes.


Image courtesy of (Image courtesy:

Share this post