Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have announced that they would not be attending Holi Milan programme in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. In a tweet, PM Modi talked about experts advising against “mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus.”
Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Hence, this year I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan programme.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 4, 2020
It is recommended that people should ideally maintain at least a three feet distance from a person who is coughing and sneezing. But following this might be challenging in a festival like Holi with a large number of people coming together to celebrate the occasion.
Dr Kirti Sabnis, Infectious Disease Specialist & HIV Physician, Fortis Hospital, Mulund & Kalyan, told indianexpress.com, “If you are coughing and sneezing, avoid physical contact with others like hugging or putting colours on them. And if you are in contact with affected people, you should immediately wash your hands.”
Experts recommend 20 seconds handwashing which involves cleaning the back of your hands, between fingers and under the nails too. Those sneezing and coughing should ensure they cover their mouth with cloth to avoid spreading infection.
Dr Sabnis also suggested that people who are not well and have symptoms like coughing and sneezing and common cold should not venture out to play Holi because they may not know yet if they are infected. “In India, most cases of coronavirus reported are related to travel. So, people who have recently travelled to areas with reported cases of coronavirus should avoid playing Holi with others,” she said. Those who have travelled to the affected countries outside India in the last 15 days should avoid attending mass gatherings and playing Holi with them, even if they are well because symptomatic people can also transmit a disease for 14 days, explained the doctor.
Others who are playing Holi should practice good hand hygiene. After playing Holi, one should wash their hands with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser and take a bath.
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