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Video: It’s festival season in India, and some doctors are dancing inside the ICU

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

The western Indian state of Gujarat takes the nine-nights-long Hindu festival of Navratri rather seriously.

The religious devotion aside, Navratri features nearly $2 billion worth of festival-related business—and long nights of hundreds swivelling around doing the garba, the traditional dance that is central to the celebration.

But a hospital in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad may have just taken the merriment a little too far.

On Oct. 19, patients at the Sola Civil Hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU)—typically reserved for those with severe or life-threatening conditions—were reportedly treated to a garba performance by doctors and nurses.

With colourful balloons hanging over the beds, cameramen ambling about and loud music blasting, the patients mostly lay motionless as the nursing staff and others lined up before them and started dancing and clapping.

Here’s the video of the performance captured by a local TV new channel (commentary in Gujarati):

It’s not entirely clear why the hospital staff decided to stage the garba inside such a sensitive ward, which is filled with high-risk patients. Quartz’s repeated attempt to reach the hospital via phone were unsuccessful.

Gujarat’s health minister Nitinbhai Patel was at the 700-bed hospital earlier in the day to inaugurate a dialysis centre, and reportedly left the establishment (link in Hindi) before the garba dance performance. The minister could not be reached for comment.

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