The Nagpur administration on Wednesday imposed restrictions on New Year celebrations amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, though these guidelines will not be applicable within civic limits of the district, an official said.
The order issued by Collector R Vimla said these curbs will be applicable to New Year events at public areas and private places like farmhouses, housing societies, hotels, restaurants, with restrictions being put on DJ parties or dance floor celebrations.
Meanwhile, Amitesh Kumar (CP, Nagpur) informed that under COVID-19 guidelines, hotels and permit rooms are allowed to open till midnight but with limited capacity. Any type of event will be banned. Gathering in public places is also prohibited from 9 pm to 6 am.
Maharashtra on Wednesday recorded a spurt in new COVID-19 cases at 3,900, including 85 of Omicron, with the daily count rising by 1,728 from a day before, the state health department said even as Health minister Rajesh Tope expressed concern over the spiralling number and termed it as "alarming".
With the addition of 3,900 cases, which were detected after 1,23,248 coronavirus tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, the statewide infection count shot up to 66,65,386, the health department said.
State capital Mumbai also recorded a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases by clocking 2,510 infections, the highest daily addition since May 8, the civic body said.
The state recorded 20 fresh deaths, taking the number of fatalities to 1,41,496, the health department said in a bulletin.
It said 1,306 patients were discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the number of recovered cases to 65,06,137.
The coronavirus recovery rate in the state is 97.61 per cent, it said.
Currently, 1,22,906 people are in home quarantine and 905 people in institutional quarantine, the bulletin added.
On the Omicron front, Maharashtra recorded 85 fresh infections, the highest single-day tally by any state in the country of the new strain so far.
"Today, 85 cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in the state. Of these, 47 patients have been reported by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) - (where samples were sent for genome sequencing) and 38 by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)," the health bulletin said.
Thirty-eight Omicron cases reported by IISER are from community surveillance and as per preliminary information they do not have a history of any international travel, it said.
Of the 47 patients reported by the Pune-based NIV, 43 are international travellers and four are their close contacts, the bulletin added.
On Tuesday, the state had recorded 2,172 cases and on Wednesday it registered nearly 80 per cent rise in infections in a span of 24 hours.
Health Minister Tope said in view of the rising coronavirus cases, the existing curbs have to be observed strictly at parties and other public events.
He said in the last eight to 10 days, the active cases in the state stood in the range of 5,000 to 6,000.
On December 10, the state had 6,543 active cases of COVID-19, according to a health department bulletin.
On Tuesday, the state had 11,492 active cases and on Wednesday (Dec 29), their number may cross the 20,000-mark, the minister said earlier in the day.
However, the health department data in the evening showed active cases stood at 14,065.
The rise in active cases in Maharashtra is "alarming", he said.
State Tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray urged people not to panic, but exercise extreme caution in the wake sharp rise in coronavirus cases in Mumbai and stressed on vaccination and widespread use of face masks.
Though hospitalisations and positivity rates were low, the COVID-19 cases have surged since last week, Thackeray said.
After reporting daily cases under-500 on most days in the last few months, the city is witnessing a spike in infections.
He further said that in the next 48 hours, the BMC will be getting in touch with all educational institutions in the city to plan an organised vaccination drive for children in the age group of 15 to 18 years, who are to be targeted in the expanded inoculation campaign.
The authorities are also preparing a list of health workers, frontline staff and senior citizens who are eligible to take the booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine, which should be administered nine months after the second shot, the tourism minister said.
Thackeray said all public places in the city will remain shut on December 31.
Speaking about the bed capacity at hospitals, Thackeray said there were 54,000 beds available in the city at present.
"We have also asked all the Covid care jumbo centres to be at stand by, at all readiness levels, along with basic facilities to medical infrastructure. Testing and tracing protocols for all that have been operational all through, were reviewed too," Thackeray tweeted later on.
Earlier in the day, NCP leader Supriya Sule said she and her husband had tested positive for coronavirus.
The health bulletin said currently, 1,22,906 people are in home quarantine and 905 people in institutional quarantine.
Nine districts and four municipal corporations did not report any fresh COVID-19 case.
The Mumbai region recorded 3,173 cases, Pune (444), Nashik (131), Kolhapur (82), Nagpur (34), Latur (16), Aurangabad (13) and Akola region (seven).
An administrative region consists of a set of districts.
The Mumbai region reported eights deaths, followed by Pune (10), while Nashik and Akola regions recorded one death each, the bulletin said.
Nagpur, Latur, Aurangabad and Kolhapur regions did not report any fresh death.
Coronavirus figures of Maharashtra are as follows: Positive cases 66,65,386; new cases 3,900; death toll 1,41,496; recoveries 65,06,137; active cases 14,065; total tests 6,87,68,760.
(With inputs from agencies)