JAIPUR: Notwithstanding the recent spurt in COVID-19 cases in Rajasthan, more than 3,000 weddings are scheduled to take place in the capital city Jaipur over the next few days, posing a grave threat to people's lives amid the pandemic outbreak.
Officials fear that the infection may spread rapidly in the city due to such events.
"We have received applications for permission to more than 3,000 weddings in the month of November. The permission is being given offline and online," Additional District Collector-Jaipur, Shankar Lal Saini told PTI.
A majority of the weddings this month will take place on November 25, on the occasion of "Dev Uthani Ekadashi', and up to 100 people are allowed to attend a marriage function. Saini said the situation is alarming because the infection is spreading at a fast pace."
"It is certainly a challenging situation in view of the increase in COVID positive cases. The district administration and police officials are constantly making people aware about the need to follow guidelines like maintaining social distancing and wearing face masks," he said.
Taking into account the sudden spike in the cases in the last few days, the state government has imposed night curfew in eight district headquarters, including Jaipur, from 8 pm to 6 am.
However, those attending marriage functions are exempted from it.
The official said the state government has also increased the penalty amount from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 if more than 100 people gather in marriages and other events.
"The district administration and police officials will be in the field to check any violation, and action as per the guidelines and government orders will be taken," he said.
Ravi Jindal, president of tent dealers association, said the number of wedding events may go up to 4,000 in Jaipur alone in the coming days.
"The coronavirus pandemic has badly hit the business of the wedding industry, which directly and indirectly gives employment to over 10 lakh people in the state like tent dealers, florists, caterers, event planners, among others, and all of them are facing crisis," he said.
Jindal said due to the restriction on the number of people attending a wedding event, two to three marriage events are taking place at the same venue.
Astrologer Ayush Bhardwaj said Dev Uthani Ekadashi is considered the most auspicious occasion for marriage, therefore, the maximum number of weddings will take place on this day.
Other auspicious days for marriage in the month of November are November 27 and November 30, he said.
Rajasthan recorded 19 more fatalities due to coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the COVID-19 death toll in the state to 2,200, according to a health department bulletin.
The state also reported 3,314 fresh COVID-19 cases which mounted the infection tally to 2,50,482, it said.