In the wake of emergence of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, the Mumbai Police have prohibited New Year celebrations and gatherings in any closed or open space, including hotels and restaurants, an official said on Thursday, December 30. Deputy Commissioner of Police (operations) S Chaitanya issued an order to this effect on Wednesday under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The order will be in force from Thursday till January 7, 2022, the official said.
The police order prohibits all New Year celebrations, programmes, functions and gatherings in any closed or open space, including hotels, restaurants, banquet halls, bars, pubs, orchestras, resorts, clubs and rooftops. Trains, buses and private cars may ply as per the current guidelines and norms, the order stated.
Mumbai continues to be threatened by the rise in cases of COVID-19 and emergence of the new variant Omicron, it noted. The prohibitory orders have been issued to prevent danger to human life, for the health and safety of people, and to curtail transmission of the virus, the order said.
Any person contravening the order shall be liable for punishment under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code as well as provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act Pandemic Act and the Disaster Management Act, the order stated.
On Wednesday, Mumbai reported 2,510 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily addition since May 8, and one death, taking its tally to 7,75,808 and toll to 16,375, a civic official said.
The spike in the country's financial capital has got pronounced since December 20, when just 283 cases were reported.
Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 85 fresh cases of Omicron, the highest single-day tally recorded so far by any state in the country, taking the overall count to 252, as per the state health department.
State minister Aaditya Thackeray had urged people not to panic, but exercise extreme caution in the wake of sharp rise in coronavirus cases in Mumbai and stressed on vaccination and widespread use of face masks.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday expressed concern over the rise in the number of fresh as well as active COVID-19 cases in the state, terming it as an "alarming" situation, and said stricter measures will be imposed to stem the infection spread.
He urged people and authorities to exercise caution at a time when the new coronavirus variant Omicron has fuelled worries about a fresh spurt in cases.
The minister emphasised on strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols and ramping up of vaccination against the infection.