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Subdued Holi in store for Delhi as COVID-19 plays spoilsport

With the looming threat of coronavirus, Holi this year might not turn out to be as exciting as it usually is, as a majority of Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) in Delhi have decided to call off their Holi meeting events scheduled for the festival of colours on March 10.

The decision comes after top leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal decided to not take part in any Holi celebrations amid the global outbreak of COVID-19.

Most of the RWAs in Delhi have now sprung into action with efforts to create awareness about COVID-19.

President of the Federation of East Delhi RWAs, B.S. Vohra said, “We have put out messages carrying advisories issued by the health ministry. Also, we are calling meetings with residents to make sure everyone is well informed about the deadly virus, its symptoms and precautions.”

Vohra”s association had also scheduled a ”Holi Milan Samaroh” (Holi gathering) for March 10, which they have now decided to call off.

Meanwhile in the southern part of the capital, RWAs have also been urging people to postpone their travel plans for a while so as to avoid coming in contact with any infected patient.

S.K. Mittal, RWA president of South Ex-II, said, “We have asked people to avoid public gatherings and also avoid travel as much as possible. The Holi gathering programme scheduled from March 10 also stands cancelled for now.”

United RWAs Joint Action (URJA), an umbrella body of over 2,500 RWAs in the capital, also announced that it would cancel its Holi event, keeping in mind the threat of COVID-19.

“Based on this (coronavirus threat) URJA, considering the danger level of public health safety advice to cancel the upcoming Holi event to be held on March 10,” a statement by URJA said.

Meanwhile in Noida, as soon as the news of a man testing positive for coronavirus came to light, panic gripped the upscale society where reportedly the COVID-19 patient lives.

Since then, the parks of the society have witnessed empty benches, while the playing areas, including basketball and tennis courts, wore a deserted look, a resident of the society told IANS requesting anonymity.

“ATS is known for its greenery and walking tracks for the residents. But after the news broke that one person has tested positive for the deadly virus, very few people are venturing out for morning or evening walks,” the resident said.

He added that the few people who were going for walks were using face masks and avoiding physical contact with others.

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