The government of Goa issued an order which bans public celebration of upcoming religious festivals in the state amid “a fresh surge in Covid cases”.

(Image source: IANS)

Updated: Mar 27, 2021, 02:18 PM IST

The rising number of COVID-19 cases have forced various state governments to ban or restrict Holi celebrations. The latest state to cancel the festivities is Goa.

The Goa government on Friday (March 26) announced a ban on celebrations of the indigenous peasant festival (Shigmo), Holi, Navaratri and Shab-e-Barat due to an increase in the COVID-19 cases across the state. 

Speaking at the ongoing Budget Session, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told the Legislative Assembly that the SOPs should be followed strictly in public events like festivals and weddings. He also urged hotels not to host large gatherings or Holi themed parties to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

“The government is cancelling Shigmo due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in Goa. Health comes first, festivals can be held every year. Shigmo can be celebrated in small numbers at local temples,” Sawant told the state Assembly during Zero Hour. 

Shigmo, or Shishirotsava is a spring festival celebrated in Goa. Reckoned as the indigenous variant of the Portuguese-oriented Carnival, the Hindu festival of Shigmo, is marked by the boisterous celebration of colour and music and decorated float parades in various parts of the state. It is also a notified state festival and is celebrated by the Konkani community.

The government of Goa also issued an order which bans public celebration of upcoming religious festivals in the state amid “a fresh surge in Covid cases”

“All authorities shall ensure that public celebrations and gatherings, congregations during these upcoming festivals like Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Navaratri, etc shall not be allowed in public places, parks, markets in the state of Goa,” the order issued by under secretary (Health) Gautam Parmekar said.

Goa on Friday recorded 189 fresh cases. Pramod Sawanthad earlier said that there was no proposal to make Covid-19 negative certificate compulsory for tourists- a move that may hamper the tourist industry in the state.

(With inputs from IANS)