Omicron: Avoid gatherings, parties for Christmas & New year, says BMC

Mumbai Owing to increasing Omicron cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday appealed to citizens to avoid gathering or organising parties for Christmas or New Year’s Eve
BMC requested citizens to follow norms as Omicron may lead to a possible third wave. (Vijay Bate)
BMC requested citizens to follow norms as Omicron may lead to a possible third wave. (Vijay Bate)
Published on Dec 18, 2021 08:09 PM IST
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ByMehul R Thakkar

Mumbai Owing to increasing Omicron cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday appealed to citizens to avoid gathering or organising parties for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. The BMC is going to form teams at the ward level to keep an eye on weddings and parties.

The BMC will also have to keep an eye on house parties in the city. Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal told HT, “Citizens are expected to practice self-regulation when it comes to house parties. We are not going to monitor them but we are keeping a watch on them.”

BMC officials said that globally, lockdown has been announced due to Omicron and they are trying to avoid a similar situation in India. The BMC has reiterated that citizens should get fully vaccinated, hotels, restaurants and wedding organisers should follow all Covid-appropriate norms.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the BMC said, “Omicron is spreading rapidly around the world, putting a strain on the health system. Despite repeated appeals by the government and administration to prevent a third wave, we have observed that Covid norms are not being followed properly in most places. Therefore, all citizens are requested to abide by the limits laid down by the government by avoiding crowding, wearing masks and getting fully vaccinated.”

The BMC in a statement appealed to citizens to follow the existing rule of 50% capacity in marriage halls and 25% capacity in the open lawn. However, in case of more than 1,000 guests, permission will have to be taken from local district administration, said the BMC. Currently, restaurants, bars and nightclubs are allowed to remain open till 12.30 am at 50% capacity.

Additionally, in the backdrop of several public figures from Bollywood testing positive after a gathering recently, the BMC in the statement has mentioned that eminent personalities should also ensure the following of Covid-19 norms. The statement in this context reads, “Eminent personalities, celebrities who have an influence on the society also need to be aware of all the issues and act accordingly. If any rules are found to be broken, the administration has now decided to take drastic action.”

According to BMC officials, the state government has empowered the BMC to levy a 10,000 fine on individuals or establishments for violating norms.

Meanwhile, as of Friday, the city had around 14 Omicron variant cases reported in the city, the highest in Maharashtra. The BMC on Friday had said that the period up to January 15, 2022, will be crucial to understand the spread of Omicron variant in the city.

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