New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday announced on Twitter that they would not participate in any Holi events in the wake of the fresh coronavirus cases reported in India.
The PM said that after recommendations from experts, who have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus, he has decided to opt out of Holi Milan programmes.
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
Shah also appealed to people to avoid public gatherings.
Holi is a very important festival for we Indians but in the wake of Coronavirus, i have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan celebration this year.
I also appeal everyone to avoid public gatherings and take a good care of yourself & your family.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 4, 2020
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also decided not to celebrate Holi in the wake of the Delhi riots and the coronavirus cases being reported in the national capital.
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) March 4, 2020
Two fresh cases of coronavirus emerged in Delhi and Hyderabad Monday, and six suspected cases have been detected in Agra Tuesday.
As many as 16 Italian tourists and one guide, who were in Jaipur, tested positive for novel coronavirus, taking the total number of infected people to 28, including three in Kerala who have recovered.
The government has issued a revised travel advisory, suspending visas granted to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan.
The Modi government has come under attack from the Congress for not taking the coronavirus threat seriously.
But ever since fresh cases in India surfaced, the government is taking a slew of measures.
It held an urgent review meeting Tuesday. PM Modi also posted on Twitter, assuring citizens that the government was being proactive about the matter and that there was no need to panic.
There is no need to panic. We need to work together, take small yet important measures to ensure self-protection. pic.twitter.com/sRRPQlMdtr
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 3, 2020
TV channels, newspapers — all focus on coronavirus
All TV channels talked about the coronavirus scare Tuesday night, so did newspapers this morning, with doctors, health experts, and health professionals all sharing basic information about how to maintain personal hygiene, how often to wash one’s hands and and how quickly should people report to a doctor in case of any illness.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan addressed several press conferences and appeared on many news channels, informing that about 15 special labs have been set up to spot infections, with 19 more on their way.
He also said screening is being done at 21 airports, 12 major seaports and 65 minor seaports.
According to the WHO, more than 92,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, with 3,110 confirmed deaths from the virus.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.