Two videos of patients performing Garba dance at COVID-19 facilities in Mumbai have surfaced on social media, even as the Maharashtra government has appealed to people to hold health and blood donation camps instead of dandiya during the Navratri festival. In one of the videos, a number of COVID-19 patients with masks on their faces are seen performing Garba along with health workers wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits on a Bollywood song in a women's ward. In the clip, some women patients are also seen watching the performance.
In another video, few male patients are seen dancing Garba with healthcare professionals in PPE kits at ''Nursing Station 15''. According to some social media posts, the videos of Garba performance are from the Goregaon-based jumbo COVID-19 facility of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
When contacted, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal told news agency Press Trust of India on Tuesday that one of the videos of the Garba performance was from the BMC's COVID-19 centre, but the facility's dean told him they had not organised it. Mr Chahal said the dean also informed him that the patients were celebrating on their own in the ward along with health workers, and they were feeling happy and good.
"As it was a sign of happiness, the doctors inside (the facility) allowed them to celebrate," Mr Chahal said quoting the dean. The facility's dean also said there was no harm if the patients do something to be happy in a COVID-19 centre, the civic chief added.
Mumbai is one of the worst affected by COVID-19 in the county with nearly 2.43 lakh cases and over 9,700 deaths reported from the metropolis so far. The Maharashtra government last month urged people to celebrate Navratri and Dussehra festivals in a guarded manner due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In the guidelines issued on September 29, the state government suggested organisation of health and blood donation camps instead of
dandiya, Garba and cultural events involving mass participation. Even the BMC earlier this month appealed to people to strictly follow guidelines issued by the state government while celebrating Navratri.