Year 2022: What’s in Store?

Insight Bureau: When India stepped foot in 2021, it came with the thought of eradicating the infection and bracing for a Covid-free year. The virus, however, had other plans. Very much like last year, the country will enter another 365-day cycle overwhelmed with curbs, cluster-wise lockdowns and travel bans.

The year 2021 started with hope, as life-saving vaccines were rolled out to around 60 percent of the world’s population, although many of its poor still have limited access and some of its rich falsely believe the jabs are part of some ill-defined plot.

As the year drew to a close, the emergence of the Omicron variant pushed the number of daily new Covid-19 cases past one million for the first time.

India, fearing a repeat of a devastating virus surge that overwhelmed the country in April and May, cities and states have imposed restrictions on gatherings.

The national capital has issued a ‘yellow alert’ in view of the rising Covid-19 cases and the daily positivity remaining above 0.5% for two consecutive days.

According to the city’s Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), night curfews, closure of schools, colleges, movie theatres and gyms are in effect. All large political and religious gatherings will also be prohibited in the city and restaurants will function with 50% capacity till 10pm.

Support Independent Journalism? Keep us live.

While the Maharashtra state government has not completely banned New Year celebrations, it has imposed several restrictions. Only 50% attendance is allowed at events in confined spaces, while the limit is capped at 25% for open areas.

The Tamil Nadu state government has banned all celebrations across the beaches in the state and has advised the public to remain indoors and celebrate responsibly. The state has also advised the public against large scale crowding in any public place.

Kolkata Police ramped up security arrangements in the ‘City of Joy’ for Near Year’s Eve to ensure compliance of strict prohibitory orders. About 3,500 police personnel deployed across the city

The Odisha government has directed the authorities to take strict action against violators of the ban on New Year’s celebrations and night curfew. The State Government has also banned picnics and social gatherings for the entire January month.

Random checking will be done at picnic spots, malls, shopping complexes, hotels, clubs, restaurants, parks, convention halls and marriage halls to check violations of Covid-appropriate behaviour.

Even as India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 145 Crore landmark milestone on Friday, the highest single-day rise of 309 cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been reported taking the total number of such cases to 1,270. It also recorded 16,764 fresh COVID-19 cases and 220 more fatalities due to the viral disease.

The pandemic surely did affect public’s celebration mood. As the previous year, people of the country could not completely get to live the first day of the year with much happiness.

Comments are closed.