Omicron scare: Which states have imposed curbs before Christmas, NY?
Amid growing concern over the rapid surge of COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant, multiple states and union territories have reimposed fresh restrictions to curb the viral spread. States are enforcing strict restrictions in districts with high positivity rates. The restrictions include night curfews, regulations on large gatherings, a cap on the number of guests at weddings, etc. Here are more details.
Why does this story matter?
India's COVID-19 tally involving the Omicron variant has reached 236 within a month. Notably, a majority of Omicron variant cases are concentrated in Delhi and Maharashtra, at 64 and 65, respectively. Omicron is notably more transmissible than the Delta variant. The Centre had also issued an advisory Tuesday to states and union territories detailing prevention and containment guidelines amid the Omicron threat.
Fresh curbs in Mumbai
In the wake of rising Omicron cases, the Mumbai Police has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in the city from December 16-31. This means large gatherings and parties are banned in the city during this period, covering Christmas and New Year's Eve. People have to follow COVID-19 appropriate behavior at all times, the order states.
What other curbs are there in Mumbai?
The order also prohibits the attendance of people at any event over 50% of the venue's capacity. Organizers of programs should be fully vaccinated, it added. All public transport shall be used by fully vaccinated people only, the order states. Those traveling to Maharashtra will either have to be fully vaccinated or carry an RT-PCR test valid for 72 hours.
Delhi bans Christmas, New Year gatherings
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) Wednesday directed District Magistrates to ensure that no Christmas and New Year gatherings take place in the national capital. It has also directed DMs to identify potential COVID-19 hotspots and take "concerted actions" as per "prescribed protocol guidelines." District authorities are also directed to take strict penal actions against violators.
Delhi: 50% seating at restaurants, bars
In Delhi, restaurants and bars can now operate with only up to 50% of their seating capacity. Seating capacity at auditoriums and assembly halls has also been capped at 50%. Up to 200 persons are permitted to attend marriage-related gatherings. Sports activities in stadiums are allowed but without any spectators. Weekly markets are allowed to operate in adherence to existing guidelines.
Bengaluru allows restaurants, bars with 50% seating capacity
In Bengaluru and the rest of Karnataka, fresh restrictions are imposed from December 30-January 2. Unlike Delhi, it has allowed parties and festivities with certain limitations. It has allowed parties and festivities in clubs and restaurants but only with 50% seating capacity. However, it has banned special events like disk jockey (DJ) nights. Full vaccination is mandatory for everyone at the places of celebrations.
CrPC Section 144 imposed in Noida, Lucknow
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Government has invoked Section 144 of the CrPC in Noida and Lucknow till December 31 in view of the threat posed by Omicron. Curbs were imposed keeping in mind upcoming Christmas and New Year's festivities. UP has reported two Omicron cases.
India's Omicron tally reached 236
Meanwhile, India's tally of Omicron cases has reached 236, with cases detected in 16 states and union territories. Maharashtra reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant: 65. The other worst-affected regions include Delhi (64 Omicron cases), followed by Telangana (24), Rajasthan (21), Karnataka (19), Kerala (15), and Gujarat (14). A total of 104 patients infected with Omicron have been discharged.