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New Delhi, August 14, 2020
The Defence Ministry is organising tomorrow's Independence Day flag hoisting ceremony at the Red Fort here taking care to maintain the sanctity and dignity of the function while factoring in precautions related to the COVID-19 scenario.
To facilitate seamless movement with the least chances of any crowding, seating enclosures and walkways are laid with wooden flooring and carpeting. Additional door-frame metal detectors, with adequately spaced markings, have been provided to avoid queuing and to ensure smooth passage for all the invitees.
Most of the parking areas have been brick-lined and paved to ensure smooth entry and exit of vehicles to the maximum feasible extent.
Members of the guard of honour have been under quarantine as part of the safety measures. The guiding principle for seating has been “Do Gaz ki Doori” or 6 feet between any two guests seated during the event.
Participation is only through invitation and those without the formal invites will not be allowed entry. About 4,000 plus invitations have been issued to officials, diplomats, members of public, media etc.
With an eye on safety, NCC cadets have been invited to witness the event (instead of young school children) and they will be seated at the Gyanpath.
To sensitize the invitees towards COVID-related safety measures, a specific advisory for following the guidelines has been issued along with each invitation card.
A request card for the invitee to exhibit restraint and patience during dispersal after the conclusion of the function would be placed on each seat in this regard. The announcement in this connection will be made from the commentary booth from time to time. Traffic Police advisory will also contain a note on the matter.
An orderly dispersal plan has been put in place for implementation through the controlling officials in various enclosures. Ceremonial drills have also factored in social distancing norms as well as other precautionary measures.
An adequate number of 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.
Thermal screening at all entry points for the invitees has been planned. Thorough sanitization of the premises inside and outside the Red Fort is being carried out regularly.
All invitees have been requested to wear masks. Also, an adequate number of suitable masks are being kept handy for distribution at various points of venue. Similarly, the availability of hand sanitizers at pre-defined locations has been done. Display boards are placed discreetly to attract the attention of invitees.
Floral arrangements at Gyanpath behind the NCC Cadets have been made to enhance the visual appeal of the area.