Independence Day celebrations | Over 4,000 invited for Red Fort event, says Defence Ministry

Seating arrangement has been made under the guiding principle of maintaining distance of two yards between any two guests.

Over 4,000 people including diplomats, officials and media personnel have been invited for the Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort and it is being organised maintaining a balance between dignity of the event and factoring in COVID-19 protocols, the Defence Ministry said on Friday.

It said the seating arrangement has been made under the guiding principle of Do Gaz ki Doori (maintaining distance of two yards) between any two guests.

It said members of the guard of honour have been under quarantine.

“With an eye on safety, NCC (National Cadet Corps) cadets have been invited to witness the event (instead of young school children) and they will be seated at Gyanpath,” it noted.

All invitees have been requested to wear masks, it said, adding that an adequate number of masks are being kept handy for distribution at various points of venue.

“Similarly, availability of hand sanitizers at pre-defined locations has been done. Display boards are placed discreetly to attract the attention of invitees,” the ministry said.

In order to facilitate people’s seamless movement and to avoid crowding, seating enclosures and walkways have been laid with wooden flooring and carpeting, it said.

Security personnel keeping vigil at Red Fort, as the preparation is in full swing for the Independence Day celebrations, in New Delhi on August 14, 2020.

Security personnel keeping vigil at Red Fort, as the preparation is in full swing for the Independence Day celebrations, in New Delhi on August 14, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Additional door frame metal detectors with adequately spaced markings have been provided to avoid queuing and to ensure smooth passage for all the invitees, it mentioned.

“Most of the parking areas have been brick lined and paved in order to ensure smooth entry and exit of vehicles to the maximum feasible extent,” it said.

Thermal screening at all entry points for the invitees has been planned, it mentioned.

It said a thorough sanitization of the premises inside and outside the Red Fort is being carried out on a regular basis.

The ministry said the participation is only through invitation and those who do not have formal invites should “refrain from coming to the venue”.

“About 4000 plus invites have been issued to officials, diplomats, members of public, media etc,” it added.

Ceremonial drills, it said, have also factored in due social distancing norms as well as other precautionary measures.

The ministry said, “Adequate medical booths at four locations, one near the Rampart, one in Madhavdas Park and two in 15 August Park have been set up to cater to any attendee who is detected having any symptoms related to COVID-19 during entry.”

Ambulances would also be stationed at these four locations, it added.

India’s COVID-19 caseload surpassed 24 lakh on Friday after 64,553 more people tested positive and the recoveries rose to over 17 lakh, the Health Ministry said.

With 17,51,555 people defeating the disease, the recovery rate has surged to 71.17%.

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