Ahmedabad | Jagran News Desk: Navratri is one of the most popular festivals in India which is celebrated with a lot of fervour and enthusiasm. One of the highlights of the nine-day festival is the Garba event where people come together and dance, celebrating the auspicious festival. However, the Gujarat government has decided to ban the Garba event in the state in Navratri 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis

In its standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Navratri 2020, the Vijay Rupani-led Gujarat government has banned the Garba event during the nine-day festival in the state.

As per the guidelines issued by the state government more than 200 people will not be allowed in an event during Durga puja in Gujarat. People will only be given one hour for the prayers, the guidelines read, adding that COVID-19 protocols -- social distancing and use of masks and sanitisers -- will have to be followed.

The guidelines further read that it will be mandatory for organisations to take prior permission from government authorities to organise programmes during the nine-day festival, noting that thermal scanners are compulsory at Navratri community prayers and other events.

It noted that people above the age of 65, pregnant women, children below 10 years and people with comorbidities should avoid taking part in Navratri programmes because of the coronavirus crisis.

The Gujarat government further said event such as burning of effigies of Ravana, Ramlila yatras, rallies, melas (congregations), exhibitions would not be allowed during the festive season (from Navratri to Diwali). It advised people to celebrate festivals like Dussehra, Durga puja, Diwali, Gujarati New Year, Bhai dooj and Sharad Poornima at their homes with their families, the guidelines noted.

According to the Gujarat government, the novel coronavirus, which was first reported in India on January 30, has affected 1.47 lakh people and claimed over 3,500 lives in the state so far. However, over 1.27 lakh have recovered from the deadly infection, taking Gujarat's recovery rate to 86.46 per cent.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma