Coronavirus prevention: Should you be playing Holi this time?

Avoid playing Holi with anyone who is displaying signs of cold, or has a fever. Play only with family members or friends whom you know well.

Color Holi

Events across the country (and the globe) are being cancelled due to the widespread coronavirus fear. People are being asked to avoid gatherings and many large scale Holi events have also been cancelled due to that. We spoke to doctors from across hospitals and cities and here is what they have to say:

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Dr. Tanu Singhal, consultant, Infectious Disease at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
At this time while COVID-19 is rapidly spreading throughout the world, the number of cases in India remain quite low. The cases have been reported only in people who have traveled abroad. This situation may however change in the next few days.

Hence, it is recommended that people who are sick with fever and respiratory symptoms should stay isolated at home and not participate in social functions. Those who have returned from international travel within the past 2 weeks should also stay at home. The rest can meet and greet other people at a distance. Frequent use of hand sanitizer is prudent.

Also read: Coronavirus in India: Govt issues fresh travel advisory

Dr Satya Rajan Sahu, Pulmonologist, PSRI Hospital
Like the flu, coronavirus is a respiratory disease. Symptoms include runny nose, cough, sore throat, high temperature. So practicing personal hygiene and maintaining distance from those who appear sick is the first thumb rule to fight Coronavirus. Still for those who have planned to play Holi this season. Just be a little more careful.

Avoid playing Holi with anyone who is displaying signs of cold, or has a fever. Play only with family members or friends whom you know well. Avoid applying or getting applied colours near eyes, mouth and nose. Avoid rain dance or pool party. Play only with dry colours. Choose an open ground rather than a congested small room. Wash your face & hands thoroughly once you are done playing Holi. Use antiseptic soap and wash your body thoroughly.

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Ameve Sharma, Founder & Managing Director, Kapiva Ayurveda
Taking the current circumstances into account, skipping Holi this year would not be a bad idea. You can always appreciate the significance of the festival without indulging in the colours, right? Nonetheless, if you still wish to play Holi, you must maintain necessary precautions.

Firstly, it would be best to limit your holi interaction with family, whom you anyway interact with, rather than large groups of strangers. Further, think of the nourishment required. Internal nourishment is just as important as external skin/hair care regimes. Consume herbs that are rich in antioxidants or those that have antimicrobial properties that help keep sickness at bay.

You can try Amla, which is ideal for boosting immunity as it has more Vitamin C than oranges or lemons! Apart from herbs, you also need to ensure that you have a face mask on, before stepping out. To prevent contamination, following mindful hygiene like carrying a sanitizer or covering your mouth while coughing and sneezing, is crucial. We need to remember, safety needs to be our topmost priority, especially during this flu season.

Also read: Coronavirus: Make hand sanitizer at home

Dr Vineet Arora, Associate director, Internal medicine, Max Hospital
Coronavirus epidemic is gradually spreading its wings in India also as in other parts of world. A major doubt in everyone’s mind is whether to celebrate festival of colors. There are a few guidelines for this festival: Avoid large Holi gatherings or Holi Milan.

Chances of person to person spread can increase to a great extent during such get-together. Small close family gatherings are okay. Families can get together on this festival and celebrate with dry colors, avoiding water. However, if any family member is showing any symptoms of fever or running nose or cough, they should avoid attending these get together. Simple hygienic steps like use of sanitisers and hand rubs or frequent washing of hands should be done liberally.


  • Avoid large Holi gatherings
  • Play Holi in a closed family group and ensure no one displays symptoms of cough, cold or flu
  • Play with dry colours and not water
  • Practice frequent washing of hands
  • Ensure you have foods that boost your immune system