India celebrates 73rd Republic Day amid security and COVID-19 measures
The Xinhua reported that India on Wednesday celebrated the 73rd Republic Day amid tight and adequate security measures and COVID-19 protocols.
The main function was organized at Rajpath in New Delhi. President Ram Nath Kovind unfurled the national flag, and the national anthem was played. In accordance with the tradition, a booming 21-gun salute was also presented to mark the beginning of the parade.
In wake of the ongoing third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, this year only 5,000 people attended the Republic Day parade program. Authorities allowed only fully-vaccinated adults and children above 15 who had received the first shot.
Reports said the parade started at 10:30 a.m. local time, half an hour later than usual, for better visibility.
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Like last year, there was also no chief guest at this year's Republic Day function because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As part of celebrations, every year New Delhi used to bring a foreign dignitary (head of a country) to attend the function as chief guest.
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According to officials, adequate security measures were in place as huge contingents of police and paramilitary were deployed in Delhi to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.