Coronavirus Scare Hits Sale Of Holi Products In Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The coronavirus scare has taken a big toll on the sales of colours and it’s accessories in the Odisha capital this Holi-the festival of colours.

As per estimates based on feedbacks taken from traders by OMMCOM NEWS, the sale of colours, pichkaris (water guns), masks, wigs etc used by revellers in Holi are down by 75% as compared to last year.

With COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) confirmed cases count mounting to 43 in the country, despite sellers of colours, plastic masks, caps and Holi canons trying their best to convince customers that their products are not sourced from China, the latter are staying away as most feel that it is better to be safe than be sorry.

Advisory issued by the Health department asking people to play safe Holi by avoiding crowded places, congregations and suggesting for repeated handwashing with soap has further dampened the mood among the people for the festival which has further resulted in a drop in sales of colours etc.

“The China coronavirus scare has badly affected sales. People are not turning up. People are scared of getting coronavirus infection. They feel that the stocks are contaminated with coronavirus. But these stocks had arrived 2-3 months before the outbreak of coronavirus,” said Anil, a seller of Holi colours and accessories at Rasulgarh.

“I am buying herbal colours since we can’t kill the excitement of children. But we have to maintain hygiene and cleanliness. We are scared too and will restrict children from going to gatherings,” said Deepika Das, a woman buying colours etc for her children.

“Due to the coronavirus scare government has this year advised people against playing Holi, the market is completely down. We have slashed prices but people are not buying. People are scared of coronavirus. Business is 70% down,” said Rashmi Ranjan, a seller of colours in Nayapalli area.

“People have been advised not to play colours due to the coronavirus outbreak. We are very scared. We will be using a little bit of abir,” said Lagnajit, a buyer of colours for Holi.

“I have been setting up my shop here selling colours for the last ten years. This year business is down by nearly 80%. People are scared because of the coronavirus. I am myself scared of what to speak of others,” said Susant, a seller of colours in Unit- I area.