NEW DELHI: The spectator count at India's biggest ceremonial event, the Republic Day parade, will be massively curtailed this year due to Covid-related restrictions with only 5,000 to 8,000 people allowed entry to Rajpath to witness the spectacular display of the country's military might and cultural heritage, top officials familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
We do not want the parade to become a superspreader event in the midst of the third Covid wave. The number of spectators has been significantly curtailed.
We are still working on the final numbers but it's going to be between 5,000 and 8,000 people said one of the officials cited above. Only double vaccinated adults and single vaccinated children of age 15 and above will be allowed entry.
The January 26 parade was attended by around 25,000 spectators amid the ebbing second wave, compared to around 125,000 people who typically turned up to watch the event in the pre-pandemic era.
A new show with 1,000 drones is expected to add sparkle to the Beating Retreat ceremony on January 29, which marks the culmination of the Republic Day celebrations.
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