To curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Bengaluru’s civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), is planning to recommend to the government that New Year celebrations be restricted this year.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said, “We have celebrated Ganesha festival, Dasara, and in a few days, we will celebrate Deepavali. All these festivals have been observed taking precautionary measures and following Covid guidelines. During New Year celebrations, we see a large number of people gather at MG Road, Brigade road, etc. If such crowds are permitted, it will be difficult to impose guidelines like social distancing and wearing of masks.”
Every year, revellers turn up in large numbers in the city’s Central Business District (CBD) areas like M G Road, Church Street, Commercial Street and Brigade road on the night of December 31 to welcome the new year.
“Allowing such crowds this year will lead to concerns of the spread of the Covid infection. So we recommend that celebrations are held simply at home, and are recommending the government the same,” Prasad added.
The Shop Owners’ Association in Church Street said they will welcome it if the government decides to ban celebrations this year in CBD areas. Speaking to IndianExpress.com, Deepak Batavia, president, Church Street Shop Owners’ Association, said, “The new year celebration on CBD roads will be risky amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A large number of people come from different areas and also from other states and districts to celebrate here. This will only lead to an increase in cases.”
Bengaluru Urban district has reported a total of 3,54,215 Covid-19 cases so far. On Thursday, the city reported 1,069 cases and 21 fresh deaths, taking the death toll to 3,985.
Karnataka reported 2,116 new Covid-19 cases and 21 deaths, taking the total number of infections to 8,55,912 and the toll to 11,474 on Thursday.
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