Four more clubs in the city cancelled their New Year’s Eve programme as a precaution against Covid to not expose members, guests or staff to a “large gathering”.
The decision came a day before New Year’s Eve, a much awaited year-end celebration in the city but an event that draws huge crowds in some of the clubs.
The Bengal Club, Calcutta Club, Calcutta Cricket and Football Club (CC&FC) and The Saturday Club have cancelled the programmes scheduled for December 31.
The Telegraph reported on Thursday that three clubs had cancelled the New Year’s Eve programme in response to a sharp rise in Covid cases and concerns that the newly emerged Omicron variant of the virus could drive a renewed surge.
“Although the performance takes place in the open field it is far too much risk to expose members, their families, guests and staff to such a large gathering,” said Deepankar Nandi, president, Calcutta Cricket and Football Club (CC&FC).
Nandi said there are times when one has to make a tough decision although people enjoy the New Year’s Eve party but for the benefit of all it has to be done.
Authorities of The Bengal Club and Calcutta Club said that they have a section of members who are senior people and safety should come first.
“Though our numbers (on December 31) are small, in the last few days there has been a sudden increase in Covid infection and I don’t think it is fair to put any member at risk,” said Dinyar Mucadum, CEO, The Bengal Club.
The club was expecting around 150 people for the programme on Friday.
The Saturday Club was expecting around 300 people.
Calcutta Club would have a footfall of around 1,200 people before the pandemic on 31st night but it had restricted its count to 650 this year.
“We have senior members and we have to think about the health and safety of all,” said Indranil Ghosh, president, Calcutta Club.
“We would be socially irresponsible if we organise an event which has a large gathering. Besides our members and guests we have to think about the safety of our staff and vendors,” said Harjyoti Bindra, president, The Saturday Club.
The clubs where bookings had been made against payment would provide refunds, they said.