New Delhi: In the wake of COVID-19 pandeimic, only select cabinet ministers, dignitaries from the judiciary, bureaucrats, diplomats and handpicked media personnel numbering less than 100 have been invited to attend the Rashtrapati Bhavan At Home ceremony on Independence Day evening on Saturday. Earlier, the guest list would touch 1,500-mark. Also Read - COVID-19: This New Model May Speed Drug Discovery For Coronavirus

As a precautionary measure, the buffet system will be missing from the event. Besides, VIPs visiting Rashtrapati Bhavan will be asked to attend the event without their spouses. Digital infrared thermometers, sanitisers, and masks will be placed at the entrance when guests will join the event. Also Read - Role of Selenuim in Fight Against The Novel Coronavirus

The event which is expected to begin at around 6 PM will witness four people on a table this time, in view of safety of VIPs gathered there. There will be no freedom fighters at the ceremony this time and free interaction with VIPs won’t be allowed. Also Read - US CDC Calls COVID-19 Airborne, Backtracks Later

Speaking to IANS, a source at the Rashtrapati Bhavan said that the safety of dignitaries is the reason behind the move to curtail the guest list this year. “It will be a simple ceremony this time as compared to previous years”, the source added.

It has been said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was infected with COVID-19 and was on Friday declared negative, will not be attending the event this year. He will be staying in home isolation for a few days.

Who Will Attend the Event

President Ram Nath Kovind

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Former President Pratibha Patil

Former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh, HD Deve Gowda

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President JP Nadda

Congress President Sonia Gandhi

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde

Delhi High Court’s chief justice DN Patel

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba

A few senior judges of the Supreme Court and a few senior secretaries.  (Earlier, all Supreme Court judges and various Delhi High court judges were invited to the event).

(With IANS inputs)