As Covid cases rise, state ponders restrictions on Holi..

The state is pondering uncompromising restrictions on Holi celebration seeing the rise in Covid-19 infection in the past one month. On Sunday, the officials from the Home Prison and Disaster Management Department said that Holi gatherings will be allowed only for limited people.

As per Government sources, concerned ministers are likely to hold a meeting soon with officials regarding the restrictions on holi. The meeting is to be held before March 25 and Government may issue guidelines for Holi celebrations as well.

However, the State Disaster Management Secretary Amitabh Kaushal has said that the state was already following the guidelines issued by the Central Government and prohibition on processions during the festival was already enforced.

“No decision has been taken regarding restrictions during Holi as of now. The restrictions, as per the last order by the state government, are already in place. In case any decision is taken, then an official order will be issued, ” said Kaushal.

As per the date provided by health department, the number of active cases of Covid-19 infection in Jharkhand has increased from 466 on February 17 to 577 on March 17. Ranchi has been the worst affected district in the State. Ranchi alone has contributed for almost 70 percent of spike in Jharkhand. The rising cases indicates that fresh cases outnumbered recoveries during the past month.

Recently, Bihar imposed a ban on Holi gathering fearing the second wave of Covid-19 in the state. Several residents of Jharkhand also came back from Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana and New Delhi for Holi. These states have witnessed a sudden spike in the cases of Covid-19 infection and people returning from these states could become carrier of the virus, an official said.

Some Holi gathering events include cocktails and lunch. Doctors fear that Holi celebration may trigger the spike in cases as Holi cannot be celebrates while maintaining social distancing. “If people smear color on each other and come in close contact, then there is obviously a fear of transmission. We need to be extra careful during this Holi, ” said the Coordinator of the Covid Task Force at RIMS, Dr. Prabhat Kumar.