1 in 4 in Hry-Delhi-UP plan to play Holi despite Covid resurge

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New Delhi, March 26 : Twenty-five per cent people in Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are planning to play Holi outside with their family and friends on March 29 despite nearly 60,000 cases recorded in a single day on Friday. According to a survey by LocalCircles, this indicates that while the majority aren't going to be out there playing Holi, if state government and local administrations do not act and sensitise people, a sizable number will be exposed and this could lead to further spread of the Covid-19 virus. India is experiencing resurge in cases of mutant viruses i.e. the UK variant and the South African variant over the past few weeks. That is one strong reason for citizens to observe restraint as a number of festivals come up next week starting with Holi. People perhaps could have the celebrations only with their immediate family, staying indoors. As per the survey, 42 per cent in Haryana, 23 per cent in Delhi and 18 per cent residents in Uttar Pradesh plan to play Holi with people outside their family despite the state governments' restrictions on public gatherings over Holi. Seventy per cent citizens in a national survey by LocalCircles had supported a one- to three-day lockdown over Holi. Amid an upward trajectory in the active Covid-19 cases across several states in the country, the Government of India has directed states and UTs to take adequate measures to contain the surge of daily cases ahead of the 2-day celebration of Holi. The daily count of coronavirus cases in India crossed 50,000 for the first time since November 6 with the daily case load rising more than 4 times in the last 45 days. Currently, there are 10 districts that have more than 5,000 active cases, 78 districts with between 500 - 5,000 active cases. In total out of India's 736 districts, 211 districts now have more than 100 active COVID cases. Taking cognizance of the issue, amid host of festivities that are lined up from March-endĀ?Holi, Shab e Bharat, Chaitra Navratri, Ram Navami in AprilĀ?State Governments across India have started issuing a fresh set of guidelines for citizens to mandatorily follow during Holi, and other upcoming festivals. Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana have already restricted public gatherings for Holi, while Mumbai, Pune and other districts in Maharashtra similar restrictions including lockdown has been imposed all aimed at containing the surge. LocalCircles conducted 3 state level surveys taking responses from residents in Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, where state governments have issued restrictions on how they plan to celebrate Holi. The survey received inputs from more than 5000 validated residents across these 3 states. Forty-two per cent residents of Haryana plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family. Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij Wednesday announced a ban on public celebrations of Holi festival. The decision was made after the state witnessed 4,691 cases from March 15 to 21 against 684 reported from February 15 to 21. Taking cognizance of rising Covid cases in the state, the survey sought to understand how residents of Haryana plan to celebrate Holi this year. In response 29 per cent said "will play with family at home", 6 per cent said "will play with family and friends at ours or someone's home", 12 per cent said "will play with family and friends in the neighborhood", another 12 per cent said "will be attending a neighbourhood Holi get together and playing there", and further 12 per cent said "will be attending a Holi party and playing there. The findings of the survey indicate that 42 per cent residents of Haryana plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family. Such percentage of residents saying that they plan to celebrate Holi with people outside their family amid acute rise of Covid cases in the state is worrisome and State Government and local authorities must act to create awareness and maintain strict enforcement to the notification. The poll in the survey received 911 responses. Twenty three per cent residents of Delhi plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family The Delhi Disaster Management Authority on March 23 ordered that there will be no public celebration of festivals in the city, including Holi. Delhi on March 25 recorded 1,254 new cases, which was the highest spike in over 3 months. Amid such rise in Covid cases in the city, the question that was asked to the residents of Delhi on their plan to celebrate Holi this year, 30 per cent said "will play with family at home", 7 per cent said "will play with family and friends at our or someone's home", 7 per cent said "will play with family and friends in the neighborhood", and 9 per cent said "will be attending a neighborhood Holi get together and playing there". The majority of 45 per cent said "will not be playing Holi this year", while 2 per cent couldn't say. The findings of the poll indicated that 23% residents of Delhi plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family. Eighteen per cent residents of Uttar Pradesh plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family Uttar Pradesh is the hub of Holi celebrations in India with week long celebrations happening in many sub-urban and rural parts of the state. Massive get-togethers take place in Vrindavan and Mathura on Holi. One such video emerged from last weekend where hundreds of people had gathered for a laddu maar Holi with no social distancing observed at all. Subsequently, earlier this week the Government issued an order restricting public gatherings and processions and they requiring prior permission. Also people above 60 and children under 10 have been advised to remain indoors. When LocalCircles asked residents of Uttar Pradesh about their planto celebrate the occasion of Holi this year, 39 per cent said "will play with family at home", 4 per cent said "will play with family and friends at ours or someone's home", 7 per cent each voted for "will play with family and friends in the neighborhood" and "will be attending a neighborhood Holi get together and playing there". Breaking down the poll, 36 per cent said "will not be playing Holi this year at all", while 7 per cent couldn't say. The findings of the poll indicate that only 18 per cent residents of Uttar Pradesh plan to play Holi this year with people outside their family. A timely notification and dissemination via public media has led to higher awareness in the state where it seems majority plan to play Holi with their near and dear ones at home. /IANS




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