MUMBAI: The Palghar District Collector has indefinitely banned fairs, festivals and folk dances in religious places to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The move will put the brakes on Mahashivratri celebrations in the district on Thursday. Lord Shiv temple in the Tungareshvara jungle in Vasai attracts huge crowds during the festival. Fairs and folk dances are organized in the villages dominated by the tribes of Jawhar, Mohada, Vikramgad during the summer.
The order issued under the Markets and Fairs Act prohibits all kinds of fairs, festivals and folk dances in religious places until further notice.
Daily cases of Covid-19 in the district have been in the range of 40 to 50 since March 1. The total number of cases up to Tuesday stood at 46,389. In the first week of January, there were around 44,000 cases in the district. The Vasai-Virar region continues to be the district’s Covid hotspot.
Last week, the district administration lifted the ban on weekly markets because it affected residents’ livelihoods. In late February, after daily cases hit 50 to 100, the administration banned weekly markets that allow local farmers to sell their produce. The ban was lifted with conditions for wearing masks, maintaining social distance and frequent hand disinfection.