Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he will not participate in Holi events this year in light of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The number of cases of the deadly virus in India rose to 28 on Tuesday, the health minister said.

“Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus,” Modi tweeted. “Hence, this year I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan programme.”

Read today’s updates on coronavirus here.

On Tuesday, the prime minister had assured the public that there was no need to panic about the novel coronavirus in India. He added that people need to work together and take “small yet important” measures for self-protection.

“Had an extensive review regarding preparedness on the COVID-19 novel Coronavirus,” Modi tweeted. “Different ministries and states are working together, from screening people arriving in India to providing prompt medical attention.”

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday held a meeting with senior officials of the Delhi government to take measures to tackle COVID-19. Earlier on Tuesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also held an urgent meeting with Health Minister Satyendar Jain and other top officials to discuss the government’s preparations amid concerns about the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, mainland China has reported 38 more deaths by Wednesday morning, whereas the number of cases has surged to 80,270. In South Korea, 5,238 people are infected.

Also read: Coronavirus outbreak: How to protect yourself from the virus