Haridwar, Uttarakhand– As cases of COVID-19 continue to skyrocket, Rishikesh and Haridwar are becoming hot spots for the new coronavirus infection. Kumbh Mela 2021 is on the move, attracting thousands of pilgrims from all over the world to attend the holy bath in the Ganges.
But neglect among people, with no masks, no thermal screening, no social distancing, and huge masses bathing in holy water. Due to this, the state is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases with several instances of a notable number of tourists testing positive ahead of Kumbh Mela 2021, and now to date around 102 positive cases are being recorded.
Twelve days in Kumbh Mela in Haridwar amidst the COVID rush across the nation. The Uttarakhand government is fighting for crowd management and basic preventive measures. On Monday evening, over 28 lakh of devotees showed up for the second royal bath (Shahi Snan) in the holy waters of the Ganges.
The relevant authority of the medical authorities declared- over 18,169 devotees were tested between 23:30 pm Sunday and 17 pm Monday- 102 were found positive.
Unfortunately, in the risk masses, the first COVID-19 preventative measure to fall was the mandatory entry standard for COVID-negative RT-PCR reports.
Moreover, at Rishikesh about 76 people tested positive for the covid-19 virus at a hotel, which resulted in the shut down of the hotel for almost 3 days for proper sanitization, stated by Hindustan Times reports.
Dr. Avinash Khanna, responsible for the Kumbh Mela COVID-19 pandemic, said, “Thermal testing and rapid antigen testing took place at state borders, railway stations, and ghat areas. The ghats were reserved for the akharas today morning, and so testing and screening were not done. They will be again when the traps of akharas will end.”
On the other hand, the IG of Mela Sanjay Gunjyal said, “Challans for not wearing masks and thermal screening was avoided today to prevent crowds at any specific location.” But currently, the officials said with the crushing rush, it’s impractical and difficult to impose fines and now we are waiting for the higher orders.
Meanwhile, CM Tirath Singh Rawat said that the state government has ensured all needed and preventative measures, implemented all barriers, and trying to follow all guidelines- “We have followed the Government of India’s guidelines 100%”. Instead of dozens of claims and words, we can’t see the right management in the Mela, there’s no one to follow the rules, and risking people’s lives all over the nation.
Moreover, Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar administered an oath to over 10,000 police staff and paramilitary personnel on the banks on March 28 to conduct a well-manageable Kumbh Mela amid covid surge. But with current pictures, all the efforts and words of the authorities and government are going to vain, as it’s all a mess and there’s no particular pattern and control over the crowd.
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