As Millions Gather For Kumbh Mela, Haridwar Reports 1000 Covid Cases In 2 Days

Uttarakhand’s Haridwar reported 594 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the active caseload of the city to 2,812.

Haridwar| As thousands gathered to take dips in the Ganges for the 13th day of Mahakumbh, Uttarakhand’s Haridwar reported 594 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the active caseload of the city to 2,812.

In the last 24 hours, Uttarakhand recorded 1,925 cases with 13 deaths.

Even as the country struggles with the second wave of Covid-19 infections with many states running out of vaccines and beds for patients, lakhs of devotees continue to throng the ghats of Haridwar to take a holy dip in Ganges river.

According to the reports, at least a million people have flocked to the banks of the Ganges to participate in the months-long “Kumbh Mela” or pitcher festival.

On Monday, in an absolute violation of guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry, nearly a lakh had gathered for the holy dip or the auspicious Shahi Snan (ritualistic bath).

As India logged over 1.6 lakh cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, people at Kumbh Mela were seen without mask, with no social distancing.

Not only devotees from across the country but also thousands of seers, representing 13 Akhadas, offered prayers at the packed Mahakumbh Mela.

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.

Uttarakhand has reported 1,12,071 cases of coronavirus so far with 1,780 deaths.

India for the seventh consecutive day recorded over one lakh cases of coronavirus with 1,61,736 new infections in 24 hours. The resurgence of the virus has led to 879 new fatalities, taking the total death count to 1,71,058.

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