Omicron alert in Maharashtra: New guidelines today in view of Christmas, holiday season
Covid-19: The Maharashtra government will on Friday issue sweeping instructions that will cover the guidelines related to gatherings at wedding ceremonies in hotels and restaurants.
Amid growing concerns over Omicron, the highly infectious new variant of the coronavirus, the Maharashtra government will on Friday issue a set of fresh guidelines keeping in mind the upcoming Christmas and New Year's celebrations.
The state has recently been reporting a steep hike in coronavirus infections and central government data shows that Maharashtra along with Delhi is among the two regions in the country with the highest number of Omicron cases.
The Omicron variant, which is said to also be capable of undergoing frequent and an unusually large number of mutations, has got medical experts and public health professionals across the world concerned over aspects such as its transmissibility, immune system evasion, and vaccine resistance, despite initial reports indicating that the variant causes a less severe disease than previous strains.
Also Read | Maharashtra records 23 new cases of Omicron variant
Aggravating the concerns is the approaching Christmas and holiday season when footfall is likely to go up, raising fears of public spots turning into Covid-19 hotspots.
Experts have already warned that the late November to early January period—the holidays— will be an especially crucial time for this new phase of the coronavirus pandemic driven by Omicron, and any unwary activity during the festive season might lead to a revamped wave of the infectious disease.
The Maharashtra government will on Friday issue sweeping instructions that cover guidelines related to gatherings at wedding ceremonies in hotels and restaurants. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray held a virtual meeting on Thursday with the government's Covid-19 task force, where the details of the proposed guidelines were likely to have been discussed.
Maharashtra has already issued multiple instructions separately in this regard; prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) remain imposed in Mumbai from December 16 to December 31, a period covering Christmas and New Year eve, banning large gatherings and parties common in this time of the year.
Also Read | Omicron scare from Delhi to Mumbai; curbs return ahead of Christmas, holiday season
Moreover, the Pimpri Chinchwad municipal commissioner, in a fresh order, has said that anyone violating the state government's guidelines on Covid-19 will be booked under Section 188 of the Indian Police Code (IPC).
As many as 23 new cases of Omicron were reported on Thursday, according to the state's health department, and with this, the tally of such infections in Maharashtra has now gone up to 88.
In Maharashtra, about 615 people recovered from the infection during the last 24 hours while 17 people lost their lives to the deadly virus at the same time. With this, the active number of Covid-19 cases in the state has reached 7,897.