This year, because of surge in COVID-19 cases and the new Omicron variant on the rise, India has decided not to host foreign leaders
As the country faces a surge in COVID-19 cases, this year’s Republic Day celebrations on 26 January at New Delhi’s Rajpath will be kept low-key.
As reported by NDTV, the Republic Day parade will begin at 10 AM due to the prediction of fog on 26 January, according to a decision by the Defence Ministry. For a better viewing experience on a foggy morning, 10 large LED screens, five on each side of Rajpath have been installed for spectators at the parade.
COVID-19 protocols during 2022 Republic Day Parade
In 2020, around 1.25 lakh people were allowed to attend the parade in Delhi. However, last year in view of the pandemic only 25,000 people were permitted to attend the parade in person, while the duration was also shortened. This year, the number of people allowed to attend the Republic Day parade physically may be trimmed down further to 5,000 to 8,000, according to a report by Indian Express.
There is no entry in the parade for children below the age of 15. Wearing a mask is mandatory and thermal checks will also be conducted. COVID booths will be installed in entry areas and those displaying symptoms will be isolated in these booths. It is necessary to show a double-vaccination certificate before entering Rajpath and if any attendee has even mild temperature, entry will be denied to them.
Chief Guest in the Parade
For the second year in a row, the R-Day parade may not have any foreign dignitary as chief guest. Last year, India had invited leaders of five Central Asian nations namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to be the chief guests at the event, but no foreign dignitaries could come due to the pandemic. Even, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pulled out of the event after UK was hit by the second wave of the pandemic.
This year, because of surge in COVID-19 cases and the new Omicron variant on the rise, India has decided not to host foreign leaders.
Events lined up for this year
According to a statement by an officer of NDTV, “This year’s Republic Day falls in the 75th year of India’s Independence being celebrated as Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.”
As PM Narendra Modi will pay homage to soldiers at the National War Memorial in New Delhi, at the same time, families of around 5,000 fallen heroes will be presented with the Plaque of Gratitude by National Cadet Corp members all over the country.
Aircraft such as Rafale, Jaguar, Mi-17, Sarang, Apache, Sukhoi and Dakota will be showcased and nearly 75 aircraft in 15 different formations will participate in the traditional fly-past that marks the end of the ceremony.
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