Ministry of Defence is organising Independence Day flag hoisting ceremony on Saturday at Red Fort maintaining the balance between the sanctity and dignity of the National function while factoring in precautions related to the COVID-19 scenario.
In order 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 in order to ensure smooth entry and exit of vehicles to the maximum feasible extent.
The members of the Guard of Honour have been under quarantine to bring in safety. The guiding principle for seating has been "Do Gaz kiDoori" (or 6 feet between any two guests seated during the event.
The participation is only through invitation and members who do not have formal invites are requested to refrain from coming to the venue. About 4000 plus invites 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 Gyanpath.
In order to sensitize the invitees towards COVID related safety measures, specific Advisory for following the COVID related 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.
The 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. In this regard, the cooperation of all invitees will be earnestly and consistently requested.
The ceremonial drills have also factored due to social distancing norms as well as other precautionary measures.
Adequate medical booths at four locations, 1 near the Rampart, 1 in Madhavdas Park and 2 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 on a regular basis.
All invitees have been requested to wear masks. In addition, 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. The display boards are placed discreetly to attract the attention of invitees.