Much like last year, the country is going to celebrate another Republic Day parade in the darkness of the Covid pandemic. Due to the sharp surge in Covid-19 the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi will be limited amid the restrictions across states and Union territories.
In 2021, approximately 25,000 people were allowed to participate directly in the Republic Day parade, and the duration of the event was cut short due to strict Covid-19 protocol. No foreign dignitaries will be present as chief guests at the event like last year. It’s been two consecutive years that this tradition is broken. The number of people who can attend the parade physically is being reduced by the government. Until last week, the defense ministry was preparing to accommodate around 24,000 people. That number is likely to be trimmed down to 5,000 to 8,000 guests this year, senior officials said on Tuesday.
Strict Covid protocols will be held at the parade- everyone who is attending the parade should wear a mask mandatorily, thermal scanning will also be conducted, and the attendees should submit their double vaccination certificate before entering. In case anyone has a mild temperature, entry will be denied. Only those individuals who are asymptomatic can be allowed to enter. Along with these protocols, there will also be Covid booths at the entrance areas and if anyone with symptoms arrives, they will be isolated immediately.
This year’s parade will begin half an hour later than usual, at 10.30 am. The defense ministry has taken this decision considering the weather forecast of fog in Delhi on the day of Republic Day. As there is a huge surge in the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, India decided not to host the leaders. Like last year, there will be no foreign dignitary as chief guest at the Republic Day parade.