Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The Mumbai Police on Thursday issued fresh guidelines for New Year celebrations in the city, banning gatherings and parties in any closed or open space, including hotels and restaurants, amid fears over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Imposing Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the Mumbai Police said that gatherings will also be not allowed in banquet halls, bars, pubs, orchestras, resorts, clubs and rooftops.

However, it said that trains, buses and private cars can operate as per the current guidelines and norms. It noted that Mumbai continues to be threatened by the rise in cases of COVID-19 and emergence of Omicron.

"The order shall come into the force, in the areas under the control of Commissioner of Police, Greater Mumbai from 00:00 Hrs of 30th December 2021 and will remain in force till 24:00 Hrs of 7th January 2022, unless withdrawn earlier," the order read.

The Mumbai Police further said that any violation of the guidelines would lead to punishment under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act Pandemic Act and the Disaster Management Act.

On Wednesday, Mumbai reported 2,510 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily addition since May 8, and one death, taking its tally to 7,75,808 and toll to 16,375, a civic official said.

The spike in the country's financial capital has got pronounced since December 20, when just 283 cases were reported.

Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 85 fresh cases of Omicron, the highest single-day tally recorded so far by any state in the country, taking the overall count to 252, as per the state health department.

State minister Aaditya Thackeray had 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.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday expressed concern over the rise in the number of fresh as well as active COVID-19 cases in the state, terming it as an "alarming" situation, and said stricter measures will be imposed to stem the infection spread.

He urged people and authorities to exercise caution at a time when the new coronavirus variant Omicron has fuelled worries about a fresh spurt in cases.

The minister emphasised on strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols and ramping up of vaccination against the infection.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma