BMC expects second wave before New Year
BL Soni

Despite there being a drop in the daily COVID-19 cases in the city, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has predicted a second wave before New Year’s Eve. Civic officials said that they are currently reviewing the number of cases reported post Diwali. Based on it, a final decision will be taken on whether New Year celebrations will be allowed in hotels and restaurants. Moreover, if there is a surge in the cases in December, several restrictions may be imposed on the celebrations.

Senior health officials said they have anticipated a surge in the number of cases post Diwali. They have urged citizens to follow the COVID-19 protocols until the cases have completely reduced. “We might bring some restrictions on New Year celebrations if there is a second wave or surge in the cases in December. If the cases are stable, celebrations might be allowed with certain restrictions,” he said. However, the concern of a surge in cases by November or from December still persists.

Dr Rahul Pandit, member of the state-appointed task force for the clinical management of critical patients, said they were worried over a possible second wave. “Coronavirus rises well in winter. With Delhi, we have had the same experience in the country, where spurt in cases is being observed after Europe and the United States. Festive seasons have increased the spread and now Christmas and New Year is also coming up,” he said.

Third and most important reason is testing. “The overall number of cases has come down and so have testing figures. We need to keep our guard up by increasing testing and contact tracing. Even in Mumbai, testing has come down to 4,000-5,000 per day, against 15,000-16,000 that used to be carried out before. We need to get back on track,” he added.

Currently, all the restaurants and bars have been allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity in Mumbai. There is also a limit of 50 people for gathering at events like marriages. BMC had allowed the implementation of a 24x7 nightlife plan for Mumbai two months before the pandemic forced measures for social distancing in March. Malls and restaurants were planned to be allowed to stay open through the night as part of the plan in non-residential areas.

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