New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) The coronovirus scare in the country ahead of Holi on March 10 has cast a shadow on the festival of colours, with traders reporting lesser customers out to buy dry and wet colours and water guns.

The excitement over the festival of colours among children is subdued in National Capital Region, including Delhi. Be it children or the elderly, almost all seem to have the virus on their minds ahead of Dulhandi on March 10.

In Greater Noida, the stalls at various malls are adorned with packets of colours, gulal and ‘pichkaris’. However, only a few customers could be seen visiting the stalls.

A Delhi-based businessman rued that there was hardly any demand for Chinese colours this Holi.

Authorities too have appealed to the people to take preventive measures. Many leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, have announced to stay away from the “Holi Milan” gatherings.

Ambeshree, a Class III student of a well-known school in central Delhi, says: “I will not play Holi this time around in the wake of the coronavirus scare.”

Another student Ishaan told IANS that he would not play Holi since his Class X Board exams are underway.

“People apply colours and gulal on your face and other body parts. However, it is advisable to do a ‘namaste’ instead of shaking hands as a preventive measure against spread of coronavirus. So, playing Holi means ignoring doctors’ advice,” he said.

In the wake of reporting of 30 COVID-19 positive cases in India so far, events like ‘Holika Dahan’, ‘Holi Milan’ and ‘Holi Rain Dance’ have been cancelled at a few places in the national capital.

On the other hand, noted cardiologist KK Agarwal urged Holi revellers not to be worried unnecessarily. “If someone comes in contact with a coronavirus-infected patient, only then is it worrisome,” he said.

He, however, advised people suffering from fever or cold to stay away from playing with water colours on Holi.

(Pramod Kumar Jha can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

hindi-vin/tsb

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