Delhi Streets, Churches See Huge Crowds Amid Covid Worry

People in large numbers gather at India Gate on Christmas in Delhi.

New Delhi:

Hundreds visited churches across the national capital for Christmas festivities on Sunday after two years of muted celebrations in the shadow of the Covid pandemic with people seeking to find a balance between rituals and precautions.

Colourful lights, Christmas trees, buntings and balloons decked up street corners, markets and public areas as people from all religions and cultures celebrated the festival with food and music.

Christmas this year comes amid a low number of Covid cases. However, church-goers exercised caution considering the surge in infections in some countries.

Most churches urged the people to wear masks and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.

“It (crowd) was double the number we witnessed last year. There are no harsher curbs like the previous two years. So, the number has obviously gone up,” a spokesperson of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Delhi said.

“However, we urged people to wear masks and maintain social distance considering cases are rising in some countries,” he said. An administration official at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Delhi said though people turned out in big numbers this time, most of them observed Covid-appropriate behaviour.

The pandemic had put a halt to big congregations with most churches hosting socially distanced celebrations for two years.

In 2020, churches in Delhi held multiple masses on December 24-25, where a limited number of people were admitted through online registration to ensure social distancing. Though there were no restrictions on the number of visitors last year, fewer people reached churches amid concern over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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