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Thousands gather at Kumbh Mela in Haridwar; many maskless, flout COVID norms

Haridwar registered 372 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday (April 11), ahead of the 'Shahi Snan' in the holy city on Monday, a ritual that is part of the ongoing Maha Kumbh

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | April 12, 2021 | Updated 13:05 IST
Thousands gather at Kumbh Mela in Haridwar; many maskless, flout COVID norms
Devotees at Har Ki Pauri in Uttarakhand's Haridwar on Sunday (Photo Credits: Ashutosh Mishra/India Today)

Thousands of devotees gathered at Uttarakhand's Haridwar on Sunday to offer prayers during the Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious congregations in the world.

Several were seen without masks, flouting COVID-19 norms put in place by the health ministry. Haridwar registered 372 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday (April 11), ahead of the 'Shahi Snan' on Monday, a ritual that is part of the ongoing Maha Kumbh, held once every 12 years at each of India's four river-bank pilgrimage sites.

Uttarakhand currently has 7,323 active coronavirus cases, 1,08,812 confirmed cases, while the death toll stands at 1,760 to date.

Also Read: Maha Kumbh 2021: How Haridwar is preparing for grand event

No masks, social distancing at Haridwar MahaKumbh 2021

Massive crowds of devotees gathered at the Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar, with several without masks or complying with social distancing protocols. At least nine people were found COVID-19 positive during random testing at Har Ki Pauri on Sunday.

Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad president, Mahant Narendra Giri Maharaj also tested positive for coronavirus. The seer is in solitary confinement inside his ashram.

'Shahi Snan' today

Members of 13 akhadas will visit Haridwar for 'Shahi Snan' on Monday. The state administration has allotted time for each of the seven "Sanyasi" akhadas, three 'Vaishnav" akhadas, and three 'Bairagi' akhadas to participate in 'Shahi Snan' between 8.30 pm and 3 pm.

Simultaneously, taking a bath at the Har Ki Pauri Brahmakund will be proscribed from 8 am until the time all akhadas have concluded the 'Shahi Snan'. The general public will be permitted to bathe at any other ghat during this time.

Also Read: Kumbh Mela 2021: Check dates, registration link and all other details 

Over 7,000 COVID-19 cases in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand registered 1,333 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday along with eight more coronavirus-related deaths. Dehradun constituted 582 of the cases, followed by Haridwar with 372, Nainital with 122, Udham Singh Nagar with 104, Pauri Garhwal with 49 and Tehri with 44.

(Moss pic)

The Centre had earlier this month directed the Uttarakhand government to take stern measures to enforce COVID-appropriate behaviour in Haridwar during the ongoing Maha Kumbh.

Also Read: COVID-19 negative report or vaccination mandatory to attend Kumbh Mela

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