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Mumbai: Ganesh Mandals Urge People to Follow Social Distancing Norms During Festival

The usual spirit and fervour of the festival was relatively low this year.

The usual spirit and fervour of the festival was relatively low this year.

Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti chief Naresh Dahibawkar said people should have faith in the Lord, but also take preventive measures to keep coronavirus at bay.

People should not ignore social distancing norms while shopping for the Ganesh festival, an umbrella body of Ganesh mandals in the city said on Friday.

Videos on social media showed thousands of people thronging the vegetable and flower market in Dadar area a day ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti chief Naresh Dahibawkar said people should have faith in the Lord, but also take preventive measures to keep coronavirus at bay.

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The Samiti represents mandals or groups which celebrate the festival in public pandals.

"It was expected that people would take precautions with regard to social distancing ahead of the festival. But this doesn't seem to be happening," he said.

"In the last four-five days, a section of people seems to have forgotten social distancing norms at vegetable markets or flower markets in the city," Dahibawkar noted.

"Government's norms must be followed completely and people should cooperate," he said.

Ganesh mandals in the city have decided to take steps to ensure social distancing during the festival, he said.

The 11-day festival begins on Saturday. The Maharashtra government has imposed certain restrictions on the celebration this year, which include capping of the height of idols and ban on processions.

As of Thursday, Mumbai had reported 1,32,817 coronavirus cases and 7,311 deaths.