Subdued I-Day celebrations across states amid Covid-19 outbreak
Official celebrations in most states were restricted to unfurling of the national flag and chief ministers and governors addressing the people, with fewer guests in attendance.Updated: Aug 16, 2020 05:53 IST
India celebrated its 74th Independence Day on Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic with the revelries and crowds missing as state leaders urged people not to fear the disease and called for a mass awareness movement to combat it.
Official celebrations in most states were restricted to unfurling of the national flag and chief ministers and governors addressing the people, with fewer guests in attendance.
In Maharashtra, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said the government has started the process of unlocking the state “cautiously in a staggered manner”, Thackeray also noted that Maharashtra has increased Covid-19 tests on a “big scale”.
He further observed that schools could not be reopened in the state due to the Covid threat, but the government took steps to see education is being imparted to students through Google Classroom initiative. The chief minister hailed Covid-19 warriors, such as doctors, nurses, policemen and others for and also extolled cops who have been announced the Presidents Medal and bravery awards.
In Kolkata, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee exuded confidence that the country will overcome the challenge posed by coronavirus. Only a few ministers and government officials were present at the event.
A song composed by her – ‘Corona chole jabe ek din, COVID joddhader mone rekho’ (coronavirus will be defeated one day, but remember the COVID warriors) – played in the background during the felicitation.
Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa, who recently recovered from Covid, asked people not to be afraid of the disease.
“I too was infected with coronavirus, and I have fully recovered. I would like to send a message on this occasion that the people need not worry or be afraid of this infection,” he said.
In Uttar Pradesh, CM Yogi Adityanath remembered Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for India’s independence.