Holi celebrations are again expected to be dampened this year in Madhya Pradesh as the Covid-19 spread is assuming alarming proportions. After chairing a review meeting at the Mantralaya in Bhopal on Monday, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan offered a campaign slogan, “Mera Ghar-Meri Holi”, to discourage mass festivities on the occasion. The state's figures of Covid-19 cases are constantly on the rise, so no function should have over 20 participants, Chouhan said, issuing instructions in the meeting. With Maharashtra districts reporting skyrocketing infections, the MP chief minister ordered officers to keep heightened vigil in districts adjoining the borders.
He issued clear instructions that officers and public representatives should wear masks.
Chouhan urged officers and public representatives to update social media accounts under a “Mera Mask-Meri Suraksha” campaign daily. The CM asked everyone to pull up those who are still not wearing masks.
The chief minister urged religious heads, NCC, NSS volunteers and social organisations for ensuring that safety guidelines are adhered to.
Apart from installing checkpoints at Gujarat and Rajasthan borders, the annual Holi fair has been called off, officers said in the meeting.
Niwari district, which shares borders with Uttar Pradesh, has also been put under watch, a senior officer said.
Additional chief secretary, health, Mohammed Suleman said that Bhopal and Indore are reporting 25% and 27% of the total fresh cases of infections being recorded in Madhya Pradesh.
On Sunday, three MP cities, Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur, had reported 382, 326 and 109 fresh cases, respectively, with the state recording 1,322 fresh cases, a new high this year.
A total of 663 patients have died so far. Active cases have gone up to 8,000 in Madhya Pradesh.
Around 60% of the total new cases of the virus are being reported in Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur. A Sunday lockdown has been imposed in these cities till further orders starting from March 21.
The state had reported the first Covid-19 cases in Jabalpur on March 18 last year. In one year, over 2.75 lakh cases have been reported in Madhya Pradesh.
However, the major cities of the state bore the brunt of the deadly virus with 62% of the deaths being reported in seven cities, including Indore, Bhopal, and Gwalior. Indore was among the top ten worst-affected cities of the country last year and has been reporting over 300 cases regularly in the past few days.