Indian envoy calls for Guyanese to follow COVID-19 protocols during Holi celebrations

Friday night Holi celebrations at State House
Friday night Holi celebrations at State House

Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr K.J. Srinivasa has called on all Guyanese celebrating the Holi festivities on Sunday to do so in a safe manner by following all COVID-19 safety guidelines set out to protect citizens during the pandemic.

During a recent interview with this publication, High Commissioner Srinivasa urged persons to remain cognizant of the guidelines set out by the National Task Force as they celebrate the Festival of Colours.

This entails keeping safe distancing and wearing of masks among other guidelines to make the festivities a safe one.

He emphasised that this will prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

“Phagwah is one celebration where the whole family, friends and all the relatives get together to celebrate this wonderful occasion of the Festival of Colours. This time, we are to be extra vigilant. We are to ensure that we do not go out of the limitations, follow the rules which have been conveyed by the COVID Task Force.”

“You have to keep yourself sanitized, have to keep your mask on, keep your six feet distance and we urge everybody to celebrate the festival with very calm, serene manner. We also request everybody to celebrate it with lesser numbers, below the numbers which have been decreed by the government,” the diplomat implored.

High Commissioner Srinivasa and Public Works Minister Juan Edghill adorning President Irfaan Ali and First Lady Arya Ali’s son, Zayd Ali, with colours

High Commissioner Srinivasa joined President Dr Irfaan Ali and First Lady Arya Ali for an intimate Phagwah celebration at State House on Friday evening. A few members of the Cabinet and representatives of the Hindu community were also present.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has already set out strict guidelines for this year’s Phagwah celebrations amidst the pandemic.

Large events involving hundreds of persons are not allowed, along with gatherings on trucks or other vehicles.

Temples are to operate at 40% capacity and are asked to utilise outdoor spaces.

Persons were encouraged to celebrate within their home circle.

Meanwhile, masks must be worn at all times with six feet social distancing maintained and frequent hand washing.