COVID-19: After Holi, Gujarat says no to Shab-e-Baraat gatherings

New Delhi: Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Gujarat government on Thursday (March 25) banned public gatherings in mosques and other places for Shab-e-Barat which is to be observed on March 28. 

In its notification, the Gujarat home department said on the occasion of Shab-e-Barat, Muslims gather in large numbers in mosques to offer prayers. As the coronavirus cases are rising, it is important people do not assemble in mosques as cases are likely to increase due to large gatherings, PTI reported. 

“There has been a recent increase in the number of coronavirus cases. In such a situation, cases are likely to grow due to large gatherings. It is important people do not gather in mosques and other places for Shab-e-Barat and COVID-19 guidelines issued by state and Central governments are strictly followed and social distancing maintained,” the notification read. 

Earlier, on Wednesday (March 24), the Gujarat government had banned any mass gatherings at public spaces to play the Holi festival in the wake of the COVID-19 cases. The Holi festival will be celebrated on March 29. 

However, permission for organising Holika Dahan ceremony on March 28 was allowed with the following of social distancing guidelines in place.  

“Keeping in view the current situation of Covid-19 in the state, the ceremony of Holika Dahan or Holi can be observed traditionally within limited number of persons where the Holika exhibition and traditional Pooja ceremony can also be held. However it will be the organisers’ responsibility to ensure that large crowd does not get assembled during the ceremony and COVID related guidelines are being followed,” the notification had read. 

Gujarat reported 1,961 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the highest single-day spike for fourth consecutive day, taking the caseload to 2,94,130.

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