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Rashtrapati Bhavan decides not to hold Holi gatherings amid Coronavirus scare

New Delhi: Rashtrapati Bhavan will not hold the traditional Holi gatherings as a precautionary measure amid the global scare over coronavirus, the President's office tweeted on Wednesday.

"With alertness and safeguards, we all can help contain the outbreak of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. In a precautionary measure, the Rashtrapati Bhavan will not hold the traditional Holi gatherings," the President's office said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda, on Wednesday said that they would not attend any Holi Milan function in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

The prime minister tweeted that he would not celebrate Holi as experts have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

"Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID19 Novel Coronavirus. Hence this year, I have decided not to participate in any 'Holi milan' programme," Modi tweeted.

Holi is on March 10.

Following Modi's announcement, Nadda, Shah and other senior party leaders also said that they would not participate in any Holi Milan function due to concerns over spread of coronavirus.

"The world is battling COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus. The countries & medical fraternity are jointly making efforts to contain its spread. Keeping this in mind, this year, I will neither celebrate Holi nor organise Holi Milan. Stay safe, Stay Healthy," Nadda tweeted.

According to sources, he has also written to all state unit presidents, asking them to avoid holding Holi milan programmes as a precautionary measure.

Similarly the party's senior leader and Union Home Minister Shah urged the people to avoid public gatherings.

"Holi is a very important festival for Indians but in the wake of Coronavirus,

I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan celebration this year. I also appeal everyone to avoid public gatherings and take good care of yourself and your family," he said on Twitter.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, said in view of the prime minister's decision and outbreak of coronavirus, he is also cancelling the Holi Milan programme that was scheduled to be held at Miller School in Patna on March 7.

Countries across the world are making efforts to contain the spread of the disease, Nadda said on Twitter about an hour after the prime minister's announcement.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath too said that he will not take part in 'Holi milan' later this month in "public interest" and appealed to all the people of the state to refrain from attending social functions.

"I will also stay away from holy festivities of Holi milan in wider public interest. Stay safe, stay healthy," he said on Twitter.

In a related tweet, the chief minister said, "Coronavirus is infectious, therefore, protection is more important than treatment.

"It is my appeal to all the people of the state to refrain from attending social functions and take good care of themselves and their families with full responsibility."

However, all the party leaders and Union Ministers said the country is well prepared and taking precautionary steps to contain the spread of coronavirus.

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