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36% Indians plan to socialise in festivals, sparks fear of Covid spread

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covid india corona spreadNew Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) Ahead of the festival season, a survey revealed on Friday that about 36 per cent of the Indians might be getting ready to socialise, sparking a fear of large-scale Covid-19 spread.

The most exciting time of the year for the Indians is just around the corner. October-November, popularly known as the festive months mark the starting of festivals like Navratri, Durga Puja, Dussehra and finally Diwali.

People who have been confined to the walls of their houses for the last many months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, might now decide to step out and socialise, given the high spirits and positive sentiments that this time of the year brings with it.

‘LocalCircles’ conducted a survey to get an understanding of how people plan to socialise during the upcoming festive season. The survey received over 28,000 responses from over 226 districts of India.

In the first question, citizens were asked how they plan to socialise during this festive season. In response, three per cent said they will attend neighbourhood events, three per cent said they would attend private get togethers or parties that they are invited to, 23 per cent said they will visit and have over close family and friends, while seven per cent said they will do all of the above. 51 per cent said they will not socialise at all. This means that 36 per cent Indians want to socialise over this festive season.

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In early September, residents of Kerala became quite careless during the Onam festival celebrations which resulted in a huge surge in the coronavirus cases rising from 4,000 a day to over 10,000 cases a day. This led to the Kerala government invoking section 144 and banning the assembly of more than five people across the state for the entire month of October.

The prolonged impact of coronavirus has meant that Indians have been avoiding get-togethers, meeting extended family and crowded places, but it looks like the chains are likely going to be broken during the upcoming festivals.

The next question asked was that despite Covid, what was the primary reason they wanted to socialise this festive season. 17 per cent said it has been a tough year socially for them and their family and this will cheer them up, while 10 per cent said there will be social pressure so they must do it.

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About 63 per cent said they plan to take precautions and socialise so they should be all right, and five per cent said they have already had Covid-19 so it is not a worry. five per cent were unsure.

This shows that 63 per cent of those who want to socialise this festive season believe they will be safe by adhering to precautions, while a need for cheer and social pressure were other reasons cited for why people plan to socialise.

With cases of Covid almost at the seven million mark in India, the Ministry of Health has come out with Festive Season standard operating procedures.

Besides this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 8 launched a “Jan Andolan” for Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and said the government will launch an action plan with region specific targeted communication in high case load districts.

–IANS

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