Bengaluru

COVID-19 takes the colour out of Holi

Doctors advise against celebrating Holi in large groups.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

Fears over COVID-19 may leave the festival of colours less colourful this year. Apartment complexes are cancelling events on Monday while event management companies are slashing ticket prices to attract people to participate in celebrations.

An apartment complex in Whitefield decided to cancel their annual Holi party after one person who had travelled from Bengaluru to Hyderabad tested positive for COVID 19. “Some of the residents in the apartment work in IT parks, and some travel abroad frequently. We sent notices to all the houses, took a poll, and a majority voted against having a party,” said the head of the residents’ association.

Many others have cancelled Holi parties citing safety concerns. The head of an apartment complex in Bellandur said, “There are 250 residents here. During Holi parties, it is the children who will play the most. A majority of the residents felt it was unnecessary to put them at risk.”

But not all apartment complexes in the city have restricted celebrations. A society near Jalahalli issued circulars to its residents, urging everyone ‘to play with colours in designated locations’ and maintain hygiene around the society.

COVID-19 takes the colour out of Holi
 

Event prices slashed

On the other hand, event organisers are being forced to cancel their events or slash prices as regular party-goers are avoiding crowded areas. Entry fee for events at hotels, which would cost around ₹600 for example, is now priced at ₹250.

Raajesh Sukumar, the founder of an event management company, said, “There have been only a handful of bookings and enquiries for Holi parties. It is not the same as last year.”

Rahul Verma from another event management company said they almost had to cancel the Holi party at a nightclub as ‘the party scene is very dull this Holi’. “Most party-goers are corporate employees and their companies have sent emails requesting all of them to avoid gatherings of any kind,” he said.

For some people, it is a matter of being cautious.

Akshaya K., who has not made any plans for Holi, said, “I’ll stay in and celebrate with a few friends. I usually enjoy going to parties during Holi, but this year I am having second thoughts and so are my friends.”

Doctors prescribe celebrations in small groups

Doctors are advising people to refrain from celebrating Holi in large groups. “Since the infection can spread through those who have been exposed to the virus and Holi is a festival that involves a lot of human contact, it is best to celebrate with a small group of known people. That way, the odds of catching the infection are less,” said Dr. Raja Selvarajan, a consulting physician.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 10:21:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/covid-19-takes-the-colour-out-of-holi/article31016038.ece

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