All the officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police participating in the Independence Day ceremony at Delhi’s Red Fort will have to severely restrict their activities in view of the coronavirus pandemic, sources said today. They are only allowed to go to the rehearsals and return home. Their domestic helps, cooks and drivers will have to be in quarantine, sources said.
The precautions are being taken in view of the attendance of the Prime Minister and a number of VIPs in the celebrations.
The nature of the programme — including the Guard of Honour for the Prime Minister — makes it impossible to maintain social distancing rules, which have become a norm since the outbreak started. In view of this, the authorities have come up with the list of extra precautions.
All 350 Delhi Police personnel taking part in the celebrations have been housed at the new police colony at in the Delhi Cantonment.
Special Commissioner of Police (Armed Police) Robin Hibu, who is in charge of the arrangements, said the 350 personnel are doing well and none of them has any COVID-19 symptoms, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
More than 2,500 Delhi police personnel contracted the novel coronavirus so far. Fourteen of them died and most of the others have recovered from the disease.
In view of the pandemic, fewer people will be allowed to attend the ceremony in which the Prime Minister addresses the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the authorities have decided.
More than 64,000 fresh coronavirus infections were reported over the last 24 hours, Union health ministry data showed this morning, taking the total to more than 21.5 lakh. A total of 43,379 Covid-linked deaths have been logged so far; 861 deaths have been registered since yesterday.
Delhi logged 1,300 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 1.4 lakh. There were 13 fatalities, which took the total number of deaths to 4,111.