Kumbh Mela: Health Ministry Steps In, Issues Advisory For COVID Appropriate Behaviour

Thousands of devotees on Monday took a holy dip in River Ganga at Har Ki Pauri in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar on the occasion of the second ‘shahi snan’ in Kumbh.

Amid growing COVID-19 numbers, Kumbh Inspector General (IG) Sanjay Gunjyal has admitted that it is difficult to ensure social distancing norms during the second ‘Shahi snan’ where massive crowds have gathered to take a holy dip in River Ganga, news agency ANI reported.

“We are continuously appealing to people to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. But due to the huge crowd, it is practically not possible to issue challans today. It is very difficult to ensure social distancing at ghats,” Gunjyal said.

“A stampede-like situation may arise if we would try to enforce social distancing at ghats so we are unable to enforce social distancing here,” he added.

The first bath was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri, while the second will be held today and on April 14, the third royal bath will be taken by the 13 Akhadas.

Uttarakhand reported 1,333 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Sunday taking the total number of the cases in the state to 1,08,812. The active cases in the state now stand at 7,323.

Meanwhile, India reported over 1.60 lakh new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. With the country reporting 1,68,912 new COVID-19 cases, the total number of COVID cases has gone up to 1,35,27,717.

In the last 24 hours, 904 COVID-related deaths were reported in the country. This takes the COVID death toll to 1,70,179. The active number of cases stands at 12,01,009.

(With ANI inputs)

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