Corona infection has been confirmed in 122 people, including 20 abbots who attended the Haridwar Kumbh Mela. The police are overwhelmed by the unruly crowd.
The Kumbh Mela festival has been held on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar, Uttarakhand since the 1st of this month. With the Kumbh Mela scheduled to be held till April 30, holy bathing ceremonies will be held on the 12th, 14th (today) and 27th of April.
The Kumbh Mela is one of the biggest religious events in the country that takes place every 12 years and the venue is chosen from amongst four cities, including Allahabad, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain. The visuals of Kumbh Mela pose a serious threat of rapid corona spread at a time when the cases and death toll are increasing.
A large number of people, monks and Agoris have flocked to Haridwar for holy baths. Meanwhile, as the incidence of the corona is on the rise across the country, the state government of Uttarakhand has ordered those attending the Kumbh Mela to show a certificate proving negative for COVID 19. Today, 31 lakh people bathed in the river during the holy bath, leaving the police unable to regulate them.
As thousands of religious leaders, devotees and pilgrims visiting Kumbh Mela did not adhere to the guidelines, they were forced to undergo corona tests. Of these, 102 devotees and 20 abbots have been confirmed to be infected with corona. In the last 24 hours, five abbots in Juna Akhadas, two abbots in Niranjani Akhadas and one abbot each from Nath and Agni Akhadas have been reported to be infected with the corona.
At a time when the pandemic is taking on a second wave across the country and many states imposing partial lockdowns, the Kumbh Mela poses great concern for the authorities. There are big crowds near the river banks who wish to take a holy dip on the occasion, scorning the norms of social distancing and the use of masks.