Devotees gather at Har Ki Pauri Ghat to offer prayers during Kumbh Mela in Haridwar on 11 April 2021 | PTI Photo
Devotees gather at Har Ki Pauri Ghat to offer prayers during Kumbh Mela in Haridwar on 11 April 2021 | PTI Photo
Text Size:

Dehradun/Rishikesh: A total of 1,701 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Haridwar Kumbh Mela area from April 10 to 14 confirming fears that one of the world’s largest religious gatherings may contribute further to the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.

The numbers include both RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Test reports of devotees and seers of different akharas (ascetic groups) over the five-day period in the entire Mela Kshetra extending from Haridwar to Devprayag, Haridwar Chief Medical Officer Shambhu Kumar Jha said on Thursday.

More RT-PCR test reports are awaited and the trend shows that the number of infected persons in the Kumbh Mela Kshetra is likely to climb to 2,000, he said.

The Kumbh Mela area is spread over 670 hectares covering parts of Haridwar, Tehri and Dehradun districts, including Rishikesh.

A majority of the 48.51 lakh people who took part in the last two royal baths (Shahi Snan) held on the occasion of Somwati Amavasya on April 12 and Mesh Sankranti on April 14 were seen openly violating COVID norms like wearing of face masks and social distancing.

Despite their best efforts, the police could not impose the standard operating procedures (SOPs) on the seers of akharas and the ash-smeared ascetics thronging Har Ki Pairi ghat on the two major bathing days due to severe time constraints.

As the 13 akharas had to take their holy dip at Har ki Pairi in accordance with their allotted time slots before sunset, the police and paramilitary personnel were hard-pressed to ensure each of them vacated the ghat before the arrival of the next akhara in line to prevent chaos.

As seers were averse to undergoing RT-PCR tests till the Mesh Sankranti Shahi Snan of April 14, both testing and inoculation in the Kumbh Kshetra including the areas allocated to the akharas are likely to be stepped up in the coming days, Jha said.


Also read: Modi govt in talks with Bharat Biotech to manufacture Covaxin in Tamil Nadu’s Chengalpattu


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

VIEW COMMENTS

1 COMMENT

  1. and yet, its lower than Dehradun, where there is no KUMBH Maharashtra has been reporting 50,000 – 60,000 cases since past 10 days. There was no KUMBH connection there. Only ignorant people possessing very low intelligence can compare the Tablighi Jamat with Kumbh Mela.

    Tablighi Jamaatis were the prime movers and shakers behind the 1st covid wave, because its affected members came from every nook and corner, right from Baramullah to Port Blair, from Bhuj to Arunachal. Otherwise, India would have definitely escaped the 1st wave

    Besides, Tablighi activities were held in defiance of the lockdown. While Kumbh is going on, there is no lockdown. While Kumbh was being held, markets in Delhi and elsewhere are crowded as usual. In Bareilly last week, lakhs of Muslims gathered after Friday prayers to call for murder of Dasna priest

    So when there are crowds everywhere, there is no lockdown in most places, definitely no lockdown in Uttarakhand, then on what grounds can Kumbh be blamed? Look at election rallies in WB, Kerala, TN, and nobody gives any damn about observing any Covid protocols. So why single out on Kumbh mela

Comments are closed.