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Mumbai: A leading Ganesh mandal in Mumbai has decided to postpone its annual Ganpati festival celebrations this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 10-day festival begins on 'Ganesh Chaturthi', which is falling on August 22 this year.

However, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the GSB Ganeshotsav Samiti in Wadala area of Mumbai has postponed the celebration to 'Magh Shudh Chaturthi' in February next year, the samiti's trustee secretary Mukund Kamat said in a statement. The decision has been taken in view of the health and safety of the public, he said.

The decision has been taken under the directions of 'His Holiness Vidhyadhiraj Swamiji' of Gokarn Partagali Jeevottam Muth in Goa, the statement said.

The Wadala-based GSB Ganeshotsav Samiti, which has been organising the celebrations for last 65 years, is one of the richest and most famous mandals in the city. Over 15,000 devotees visit the mandal to offer prayers to LordGanesh every day during the 10-day festival.

Maharashtra was severely affected by coronavirus pandemic. The state has so far reported over 52,000 coronavirus cases, highest in India. The death toll has increased to 1,695. Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Monday evening that a couple of jumbo facilities have been created in Mumbai for treating COVID-19 patients.

“We have been fighting this battle for over two months now and I am confidence that we will stop the spread of Corona. Institutional quarantine facilities are being provided in Mumbai to citizens, whose states are not allowing them to return considering the present situation," said Thackeray.

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