KATHMANDU: The atmosphere during the Holi celebrations was less festive this time due to increasing risk of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, the festival was celebrated with much fanfare and there were several Holi programmes in different places.
This time, no such programme was announced on the occasion of the Holi, the festival of colour. It means the celebration was mostly in a close circle. Police had urged public not to go in a large circle and gathering during the Holi. Police Spokesperson senior superintendent of police Basanta Bahadur Kunwar said the Holi celebrations seemed comparatively dull this year because of Covid-19 menace and so far there were reports that no untoward incident capable of jeopardizing the peace and security took place in the name of Holi celebrations. “Our strategy is to discourage the people to form a crowd while celebrating festival,’’ he added. People celebrated the festival with the family and in a close circle. Padam Raj Joshi hailing from western Nepal and presently residing in the Kathmandu said he observed the festival with family following the government direction not to join a group for the celebration.
However, the Holi celebrations scenes at Sundhara, Ratnapark, New Road, Basantapur, and some open and public places were different than rest of the others as there were some crowds of youths. Earlier, the government had urged everyone to observe the festival within the family and apply health safety measures as well. It had warned of action as per the Infectious Diseases Act-2020 if the direction was overlooked. The Valley Police tightened the security bearing in mind the possibility of untoward incident and crowd during Holi. The festival has been celebrated in the hilly districts including Kathmandu today and it is being observed in Tarai tomorrow.
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