Bura Na Mano COVID Hai: Health experts in Pune urge to skip Holi 2021
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Bura Na Mano COVID Hai: Health experts in Pune urge to skip Holi 2021

Holi is the second biggest festival in India and health experts in Pune have urged to skip the festival of colours amid rising COVID-19 cases

Pune: As novel coronavirus in multiple states of India is not entirely flattening its curve, health experts have advised people against mass gathering for celebrating Holi to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.

The warning comes when Maharashtra, one of the worst-hit states in the country, is witnessing a sudden spurt in the spread of COVID-19. Many regions in the state, including Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, grapple with the contagion. Hailed as the festival of colours, Holi is the second biggest festival in India after Diwali. This year's Holi will be celebrated on March 28.

According to health experts in Pune, like the last year, the current situation doesn't permit people to attend social gatherings or community meetings, as cases are still rising and new COVID strains are identified in the country.

Dr Reema Kashiv, the Senior Physician from Noble Hospital, said, "COVID-19 is not over yet. Many cases are being reported every day. I will hence advise that we should keep Holi celebrations restricted to a small group of friends and family. If you are coming across any person having such symptoms, do not play Holi with them."

"Also, restrict oneself from playing Holi if you have any symptoms related to the infection. After playing with colours, take a bath, and do not touch your eyes and nose till you take a bath. Celebrations and festivities will come next year too. Due to the ongoing vaccination drive, we will be safe to play Holi as we used to earlier. Though, considering the COVID-19 situation I would like to advise all to restrict themselves from playing in large groups," she added.

Holi is celebrated on Pratipada Tithi (the first day of the Chaitra month, according to the lunar calendar), or Pratipada Tithi, Krishna Paksha. The festivities begin with Holika Dahan on the previous night — where people gather in the neighbourhood to light a bonfire (referred to as Holika) to celebrate the win of good over evil.

However, this year, experts also emphasised that unprecedented COVID fear has already added to people's stress, but adequate precautions are needed during festivals.

Dr Aditi Malpani, the Senior Physician from Sancheti Hospital, said, "People should keep their Holi celebration limited. Those who have any signs of cough, cold and fever should not play Holi in groups this year. Also, if you are facing any weakness, refrain from playing Holi in the group. Also, playing with cold water will increase the chance of getting infected with the flu. Hence, one should play holy with only dry colours."

On the other side, the spate of cancellation and postponement of Holi events amid the COVID-19 outbreak has left the event management companies gasping. Estimates by top event management companies are that at least Rs 10 lakh worth of cancellations. These cancellations and have extended to affect both small and big event management companies.

Roshan Bagde of Ronity Events said, "Every year, Holi is celebrated with great spirit. It's the festival of colours but the COVID-19 has dampened the spirit of Holi. Even last year, during the start of the pandemic, we suffered heavy losses as, multiple events were cancelled. The same is the case this year. The cancellation and postponement of Holi events lead us to the loss of Rs 10 lakh."

Meanwhile, amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Delhi government on Tuesday announced that Holi celebrations on March 28 and 29, will not be allowed in both private or public places. The BMC in its order said, “We request Mumbaikars to cooperate. Strict action will be taken against offenders.”

Gujarat government has also banned Holi celebrations amid sharp rise of COVID-19 cases in the state, However, the state permitted 'Holika Dahan' gathering with crowd restrictions.

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