Festivals during Covid pandemic: ‘Jaan hai to Jahan hai’, cautions Harsh Vardhan, govt plans awareness drive

Coronavirus update: During the time of Navaratri, Durga Puja, Dussehra and Diwali, people are bound to meet family and friends, also assemble.

Coronavirus update: Festivals during COVID-19 pandemic has become one of the worrying factors for experts and government officials. The months of October and November will witness major festivals across India. Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has underlined that “We can enjoy festivals only when we are healthy”. The Central government is mulling to start a pan-India awareness campaign keeping in view of festivals in October and November.

Answering a question related to the festival season during the weekly ‘Sunday Samvad’, Dr. Vardhan quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and stated that “Jaan hai to Jahan hai”. “We can enjoy festivals only when we are healthy,” he said. “It is a matter for the State governments to decide on allowing puja pandals in the upcoming festive season. Maharashtra has issued an advisory for the Navratri festival under which there shall be no Garba and dandiya Mahotsav in the State. Gujarat has also disallowed the Garba and dandiya Mahotsav this year,” Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said.

Describing “non-adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour”, Dr. Vardhan used the “medical parlance Prevention Fatigue” rather than complacency. “People tire out when they have to constantly take precautions. Some of them also give up taking precautions for various reasons. My message to everyone is that we must all diligently take precautions.” Dr. Vardhan has urged all people to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour during the festival season. He also appealed to be responsible citizens and urged “each and everyone to take ownership at your own levels: personal, society, RWA, colony, and office,” as per a statement issued by the Ministry Health and Family Welfare.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla is likely to hold a meeting to discuss the measures which can be adopted to shape public behaviour even as more relaxations have been announced. During the time of Navaratri, Durga Puja, Dussehra and Diwali, people are bound to meet family and friends, also assemble. These could help the disease spread further. The central government wants to ensure that people do wear masks and maintain social distancing while reminding everyone that the Coronavirus has not gone away, an official told Indian Express.

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