In what will come as a relief to most Mumbaikars, Mumbai municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on Thursday said that a decision on allowing the general public to travel by suburban local trains will be taken after the New Year celebrations.

Chahal was talking to the media after he met Bollywood actor Anupam Kher at the headquarters of Mumbai’s civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The actor had visited the BMC office to gift a book penned by him, “Your Best Day is Today”. The book is based on his experiences during the nationwide lockdown that was imposed in March and has a chapter on BMC’s efforts to contain the virus.

Mumbai has reported a downfall in the number of fresh coronavirus cases, the official said. He added that the number of asymptomatic patients is rising now. This is why a decision on allowing the general public to on travel by the city’s lifeline, Mumbai local, will be taken after Christmas and New Year celebrations, Chahal added.

It may be noted that at present, only certain categories of people, including those working for essential services are allowed to travel by local trains.

Expressing concerns about many people in the city not wearing masks, the municipal commissioner warned that the administration will have to impose a night curfew if people don’t follow COVID-19 safety protocols.

On Thursday, Mumbai reported 798 new coronavirus cases, 743 recoveries and 13 deaths. according to data shared by Municipal Corporation Greater Mumbai. While 2,64,971 people have recovered from the infection, 10,948 have lost their lives to the virus in the metropolis till date. A total of 2,88,689 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the city including 11,943 active cases.

Meanwhile, a total of 3,824 new COVID-19 cases and 70 fatalities were reported in Maharashtra on Thursday.

According to the State Health Department, 5008 people recovered from infection today pushing the recoveries to 17,47,199. The recovery rate has reached 93.52 per cent. A total of 47,972 people have succumbed to the virus while the state has 71,910 active cases.

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