New Delhi [India], December 29 (ANI): The government is likely to scale down the number of visitors at the Republic Day parade 2021 to avoid overcrowding and ensure social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak and concerns over the new virus strains.
"Due to COVID-19, the number of visitors to witness the Republic Day parade 2021 would be curtailed as seating arrangements are being made keeping in mind social distancing norms," government sources said.
Many other proposals are under consideration at the moment to ensure safety, they added.
In 2020, the country witnessed a relatively muted Independence Day function at Red Fort in terms of participation of people in view of the situation created by COVID-19.
With weeks left for the Republic Day, Indian Army continues its rehearsal for the parade on Sunday amid cold conditions in the national capital.
Recently, the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had confirmed that United Kingdom's Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be attending India's Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2021, as the chief guest, adding that it is symbolic of a new era of India-UK ties.
Meanwhile, several countries including India have banned all travel from the UK following the discovery of the more "transmissible" strain of COVID-19, which has been reported to have caused a spike in infections in London and southeast England.
Six UK returnees have been found positive in India for the new coronavirus variant detected in Britain.
India will celebrate its 72nd Republic Day on January 26 next year, honouring the historic date when the country completed its transition towards becoming an independent republic after the Constitution came into effect.
With 16,432 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, India has reported a total of 1,02,24,303 cases so far, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) informed on Tuesday.
As many as 24,900 recoveries and 252 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours. The total number of active cases stands at 2,68,581 while the total recoveries are at 98,07,569, while the total death toll has reached 1,48,153, the Ministry said. (ANI)