Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan restrict New Year celebrations amid Covid-19
The Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan governments on Monday announced restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and curtailed New Year celebrations on December 31 and January 1, 2021.
The Tamil Nadu government on Monday released a statement banning gatherings at beaches, resorts, hotels, pubs as well as roads to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Hotels can function and remain open but cannot host events and celebrations.
Entry to beaches will be closed on New Year’s Eve and the following day, the statement said. These are places where a large number of people usually gather to ring in the New Year and are seen cutting cakes on beaches in coastal districts including Chennai.
As of December 21, the total number of Covid-19 positive cases in Tamil Nadu reached 8,07,962 and has claimed 11,995 lives. As many as 7,86,472 people have recovered and been discharged. The state is conducting testing in the range of 65,000-75,000 every day using RT-PCR kits.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot too asked people to celebrate the New Year with their families inside their houses, just like the festival of Diwali, to prevent the infection of Covid-19 from spreading. He said that the Supreme Court has recently issued guidelines asking states to take stricter measures such as stopping crowds at markets and public places, not allowing religious-social events as much as possible.
Gehlot said that in view of New Year, during the next few weeks there will be a complete ban on crowd gathering, mass events and fireworks across the state. The night curfew will continue and police patrolling and action will be more stringent.
According to a government statement, secretary medical and health, Siddharth Mahajan, said at a meeting that the number of positive cases is continuously decreasing in the state. The recovery rate of Covid-19 infected people in Rajasthan is around 95% and the death rate is only 0.88%.