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Thousands test positive for Coronavirus in Kumbh Mela at Haridwar so far

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LUCKNOW/DEHRADUN: Thousands of participants have tested positive for Coronavirus during the Kumbh Mela so far.

Among them, nearly 96 priests and ascetics have been found Covid positive.

In just a few days, this figure of those tested positive has gone up to 5,000.

TV Channel Mirror Now was the first to mention it. Later, some other news outlets reported it, however, the statistics were not given much attention. There were apprehensions that as people were leaving Kumbh, the infection may reach other towns. 

As a large number of people gathered in Kumbh, and later they returned, there was fear that the pandemic may spread. Sadhus, seers, participants, citizens, healthcare workers, policemen and others in the mega conclave were under risk. Several persons have died till now due to the virus in Haridwar. Also, those who have returned to other states after attending Kumbh, are turning positive.

Though some of the Akhadas have announced leaving Hardwar, the presence of hundreds of thousands of people in the city and taking part in the rituals, particularly, the holy dips, has caused huge concern. Media and section of citizens have termed it a manmade crisis, that could have been avoided.

In Madhya Pradesh, the state government has announced that those returning from Kumbh will have to inform to the administration. Similar measures are being taken in other states too. However, the extent to which Covid has transmitted, during the mega event, is not known yet.

After the issue hit headlines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed that Kumbh should be 'symbolic' in the interest of society. Subsequently, it was decided that the event would no longer continue and Swami Awadheshanand made the formal announcement to stop the Kumbh, this year. Photo courtesy, Pexels.

UPDATE: Days later, news agencies and media groups reported that cases were coming up in different towns in Uttarakhand. Though Court wanted 50,000 tests in the region on a daily basis, just 21,000 were being conducted, there was still limited testing. On April 22, around 7,400 active cases were present in Haridwar, and hundreds of new cases being reported daily.