Second Covid-19 wave may spoil New Year celebrations in Mumbai
Maharashtra government, Mumbai civic body to take final call next month on allowing hotels, halls to organise eventsUpdated: Nov 20, 2020, 00:10 IST
Although the number of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai has witnessed a decline, health experts’ anticipation of a second wave is expected to dampen the New Year’s Eve celebrations on December 31.
Officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have said that a final decision on allowing the New Year celebrations at hotels, party halls and restaurants will be taken next month after a review. Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said, “The situation is evolving and an appropriate decision regarding the New Year celebrations will be taken in the coming days.”
According to the BMC officials, if there is a surge in the Covid-19 cases in December, there might be several restrictions over the celebrations.
BMC officials have said that the state government will first issue guidelines for the December 31 celebrations, following which the civic body will also state its guidelines. BMC cannot take any decision independently as of now, officials said.
“If we witness a second wave or a surge in the cases in December, we might limit the New Year celebrations. However, if the cases remain stable, celebrations might be allowed with certain restrictions,” a BMC official said.
The state government and the BMC are anticipating a surge in the number of cases after Diwali. Fearing a second wave, the civic body had on Wednesday appealed to citizens to continue taking Covid-19 precautions.
Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the state’s Covid-19 task force, said, “Looking at Delhi, I feel Mumbai might be at its peak [of Covid-19 outbreak] around Christmas and New Year. Hence, not just in Mumbai, but globally too, the Christmas and New Year celebrations for this year should be low key and in fact be held virtually.”
Currently, as a part of the state government’s ‘Mission Begin Again’ initiative for unlocking the city, BMC has allowed restaurants and bars to operate at 50% capacity. There is also a limit of 50 people imposed for gatherings such as marriages.
Two months before outbreak of Covid-19 in the city, BMC had approved the 24x7 nightlife plan for Mumbai, permitting establishments such as malls and eateries in non-residential areas to remain open throughout the night. However, after the pandemic broke out, the execution of the nightlife plan was suspended and establishments were directed to stop operations.
Covid-19 case tally at 272,455
On Thursday, the city reported 924 Covid-19 cases, taking its tally to 272,455. The toll surged to 10,627 after 12 more deaths were recorded. The fatality rate in the city is 3.90%. The recovery rate stands at 91.52%, with 249,357 patients discharged after treatment. There are 11,694 active Covid-19 cases in Mumbai now. Dharavi, which was once a hot spot, recorded only three cases on Thursday, taking its tally to 3,629, of which 3,307 have recovered.