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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Pune: Civic body bans Holi celebration citing high Covid positivity rate

Pune civic chief Vikram Kumar said, “Any gathering should be avoided on Holi day on March 28 and Dhulivandan on March 29 in public place, hotels, public halls, public or private open space, open spaces of housing societies, roads, grounds, gardens and schools.”

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
March 24, 2021 6:42:10 pm
Holi, Holi celebrationsProcession through non-traditional routes, throwing of gulal on Muslims/mosques, playing of loud music by processionists during namaaz are among the concerns raised by the Jharkhand Police ahead of Holi and Shab-e-Baraat(Representational)

Citing the high Covid positivity rate of the last 15 days, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has banned Holi celebrations in the city, and has appealed to residents to cooperate with the ban.

Covid-19 is once again spreading rapidly in the city. In the backdrop of the ongoing surge, any gathering should be avoided as a precautionary measure on Holi day on March 28 and Dhulivandan on March 29 in public place, hotels, restaurants, public halls, public or private open space, open spaces of housing societies, roads, grounds, gardens and schools. There is a ban on celebration of festivals in a private or public way,” said municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar.

He further said that people should avoid celebrating the festival under the `Me Jababdar’ campaign of the state government, which seeks to create awareness about each citizen’s responsibility to contain the coronavirus.

“Residents should cooperate with the civic administration by following its direction on the ban on Holi celebration. If there is violation of the directions, action will be taken against those responsible under the Disaster Management Act,” Kumar said.

Additional municipal commissioner Rubal Agarwal said that the PMC had registered the first Covid-19 case on Holi day last year and the infection is once again on rise. “This year, the civic administration is well-prepared to handle the situation. Last year in March, the PMC had only six beds for treatment of Covid-19 patients while now, 10,000 beds are ready. Also, there was no manpower, Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) or stock of other medical equipment and medicines. This year, everything is in place,” she said.

Agarwal said that the PMC was treating patients at Naidu hospital, Dalvi hospital and Baner hospital. While 125 beds have been occupied at the jumbo hospital in CoEP ground in the past few days, the capacity here will be scaled up to treat 800 patients.

Of the over 23,000 active cases in the city at present, she said, “3,500 are hospitalised of which 2,200 are in bed without need of oxygen therapy. Only 1,300 are in need of oxygen, whether in the ICU or with a ventilator. This is a small number, so residents should not be scared. However, the high positivity rate in the last 15 days is a matter of concern.”

The patient inflow is high and everyone should take care, Agarwal said, “People should stay home and strictly follow the orders of the Union government, the state government and the PMC. It is an appeal to everyone to follow the PMC order on the ban on celebration of Holi and cooperate with the civic administration.”

The PMC has been witnessing a daily positivity rate above 20 per cent for the last few days.

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