India in the time of Covid-19: "This time it's worship and not festivities"

As India gears up for the festive season, alarm bells are set to ring in the coming weeks across India with a string of big religious festivals. Dr. Rajib Dasgupta, Chairperson of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, JNU in New Delhi, warns that despite all of the sanitary protocols being implemented ahead of the mass celebrations "it is easier said than done." Dr. Dasgupta lauds the fact that "both the federal government and the state governments are trying their best to be able to have more low-key celebrations." However the sheer number of worshippers risks spawning multiple super spreader events. "These are festivals involving very very large populations, and, therefore," Dr. Dasgupta explains, "it's not just a series of SOP's (standard operating procedures) or advisories of do's and don'ts, but also how effective communications strategies are going to be and how much cooperation and adherence we receive from the communities as well as the religious and social leaders."