Increase in Coronavirus Cases Because of Kumbh Mela

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

/ by mansuralisaha

The News Cover: Currently in India, many have thronged the auspicious festival, 'Kumbh Mela' in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. India is currently dealing with a huge spike in Coronavirus cases, there is a shortage of hospital beds and vaccines but large number of devotees continue to visit the Ganga River in Haridwar for the Mela. 

The auspicious day of Shahi Snan was on 12th April and lakhs performed the ritualistic bath. Devotees were not even wearing clothes. The Health Minister's appeal to wear masks, sanitize & social distance, was completely ignored by the large crowd.

 Thousands of saffron-clad seers and ash-smeared Nagas were seen without masks, with no social distancing. Officials claimed since Uttarakhand has made negative RT-PCR tests mandatory for all, the crowds are not a major concern. 

You may remember that last year, in Delhi, international leaders of Tablighi Jamaat - a Muslim organization - had gathered at the Markaz Nizamuddin mosque for a conference that lasted many days. 

This had led to a major spike in cases. Many Hindu groups had targeted the community for the spread of the virus. People are saying that the same Hindus who were targetting Muslims are celebrating the Kumbh Mela. 

During an interview, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said: People’s health is a priority but matters of faith cannot be totally ignored. I am taking full responsibility to ensure that COVID norms are being followed. 

All arrangements have been made in the Mela area. When the Markaz was held there was not much awareness. Now there is enough and we are managing the situation. We even have officials keeping a watch 24x7. Despite the CM’s claims, Uttarakhand had logged 1,925 cases with 13 deaths in 24 hours on 13th April.

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