As the week of Navaratri begins, patients and healthcare workers at the jumbo COVID-19 Care Centre (CCC) facility at NESCO grounds, Goregaon east, were seen performing Garba.
In a video that surfaced on social media, it was seen that a group of patients were performing Garba at the facility. The patients donned masks and were seen dancing to a popular Hindi film song along with the healthcare workers of the centre dressed in PPEs. Some female patients were also seen watching the performance from a distance. In another video, male patients were seen dancing to the tunes of garba with the healthcare professionals at the same facility.
Neelam Andhrade, in-charge of NESCO facility told the Free Press Journal, that the patients were celebrating voluntarily and the event was not organised by the facility.
"The patients were celebrating among themselves. They wanted to detox themselves and felt lighter dancing," Andhrade stated. She also maintained that only patients were present at the centre along its medical staff. There was no risk of the virus spreading further. "The medical workers present were wearing PPEs. Patients who were already staying in the facility were celebrating with them," she added.
Earlier, on Tuesday morning, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal had also told PTI that the event was not organised by the dean of the facility. "As it was a sign of happiness, the doctors inside (the facility) allowed them to celebrate," Chahal stated quoting the dean. The facility's dean also said that there was no harm if the patients did something to be happy in a COVID-19 centre, the civic chief added.
The Maharashtra government last month urged people to celebrate Navratri and Dussehra in a low-key manner due to the pandemic. In the guidelines issued on September 29, it suggested organising health and blood donation camps instead of cultural events involving mass participation. Even the BMC had, earlier this month, appealed to people to strictly follow the guidelines issued by the state government while celebrating the festivals.
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