Several clubs in Kolkata have decided to cancel the New Year Eve's programme in response to a sharp rise in Covid cases and concerns across the country that the newly emerged Omicron variant of the virus could drive a renewed surge.
Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Tollygunge Club and The Calcutta Swimming Club called off this year’s programme keeping in mind the safety of their members and their families. Other leading clubs like the Calcutta Club, Saturday Club and the CC&FC too joined in the decision on Thursday.
Tollygunge Club decided to cancel its year-end programme late on Wednesday evening.
“We cancelled the programme because of the rising Covid cases and we did not want our members and their families to be exposed in a gathering where their safety could be at risk,” said Colonel Devrishi Singhal, CEO, Royal Calcutta Golf Club.
“It was a difficult decision and a lot of thought and deliberation went into it…. We did not want to take any risk,” said Colonel Singhal.
Members are being told about the cancellation, he said.
At The Calcutta Swimming Club, an email sent to all members said: “Owing to the emerging forbidding Covid-19 environment, as a precautionary measure and in the overall interest of the Club, the Programme scheduled for 31 December has been called off.”
Gaurav Chokhany, entertainment chairman, The Calcutta Swimming Club, said: “Health is Wealth. Keeping this in mind and the fast spread of the virus, our club has decided to cancel the New Year's Eve programme as a precautionary measure.”
Joydeep Datta Gupta, president, Tollygunge Club, said: “In view of the new omicron threat and our inability to scale down the programme, we decided to cancel (the December 31 programme) because it is not prudent to have a large gathering.”
The 31st night bash is something club-goers look forward to. In the pre-Covid times, the footfall in the year-end event at some of the clubs would cross 500.
At Royal Calcutta Golf Club, for instance, 600 to 700 people would attend the December 31 celebration. The turnout at The Calcutta Swimming Club would vary between 800 and 1,000.
The year-end bash at Tollygunge Club would usually draw between 1,500 and 2,000 people before Covid struck. This year the club was expecting a turnout of around 800.
All three clubs that have cancelled the 31st night gathering will refund the amount the members had paid to book entry.