Covid-19: Bihar government bans gatherings on Holi to check virus
The Bihar government has banned gatherings at public places on Holi and has made it mandatory for passengers from Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala to carry Covid-19 negative test reports while entering the state from Wednesday onwards.
The directions were issued after a meeting of the crisis management group chaired by chief secretary Arun Kumar Singh in the light of the coronavirus pandemic taking an upward trajectory in several states, particularly in Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala.
Singh also directed all 38 district magistrates to inspect Covid care centres and revive them to meet any eventuality. They have been asked to ensure that ventilators and other facilities are in place.
A large number of people are expected to return to their native places in Bihar for Holi increasing the risk of spread of the coronavirus. Banning celebrations at public places, including roads and streets, will help curb the spread of the coronavirus. However, people can participate in the festival of colours in their homes.
“Passengers from Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala will have to show Covid negative test reports (RT-PCR or rapid antigen) on arrival at airports and railway stations. Travellers who do not carry negative test reports will be subjected to rapid antigen testing,” principal secretary (health), Pratyaya Amrit, said.
He said passengers testing positive for Covid will be sent to isolation centres. The panchayats have also been asked to get people arriving from other states tested for the virus.
Sources said that the state government was also considering the closure of schools in view of the spurt in Covid cases across the country.
Bihar government’s data places the state in a much better situation in comparison to several other large states with regard to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to government statistics, Bihar has recorded 2.63 lakh Covid cases so far, of whom 1,552 have succumbed to the disease. At present there are just 327 active cases in the state and the recovery rate is a whopping 99.29 per cent.
The government is also considering strict implementation of the rules regarding physical distancing and wearing of masks at public places and transport.