In videos doing rounds on social media on Monday, thousands of devotees were seen taking a dip in the holy river of Ganges, flouting the Covid-19 guidelines.
As per The Indian Express’ report on Tuesday, at least 102 devotees have tested positive for the coronavirus at the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. In videos doing rounds on social media on Monday, thousands of devotees were seen taking a dip in the holy river of Ganges, flouting the Covid-19 guidelines. Reportedly, several lakhs of devotees are visiting the Kumbh Mela each day but only a few are being tested and other basic Covid-19 related protocols such as wearing masks, thermal screening, and checking negative test reports have been ignored.
Over 28 lakh devotees turned up to take a dip in the Ganges, according to reports. However, only 18,169 of the pilgrims were tested between 11.30 pm on Sunday and 5 pm on Monday.
The Kumbh Mela, being held from April 1 to April 30, is expected to be visited by 10 lakh pilgrims each day. The number of devotees visiting the Mela is likely to multiply drastically on three days of “shahi snaan” or royal bath – Monday, Wednesday, and April 27.
— ANI (@ANI) April 12, 2021
However, Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar, while speaking to India Today on Monday, asserted that the Kumbh Mela was not a “super spreader event”. The authorities had tested 53,000 persons visiting the Mela, of which the positivity rate came at 1.5%, he stressed in order to back his claim. The top cop also claimed “90% of the crowd” that came to the event would not stay at Haridwar and so, they will not spread the virus.
Meanwhile, Mr Kumar did not elaborate on the possibility of those going back transmitting the virus at their respective locations. The senior police officer also admitted that it was not possible to follow Covid-19 related protocols completely at an event like the Kumbh Mela.
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