Uttarakhand’s Haridwar reported 594 new cases of coronavirus today, taking the active caseload of the city to 2,812, as thousands gathered to take dips in the Ganges for the 13th day of Mahakumbh. On Monday, Haridwar had registered 408 cases.
Uttarakhand logged 1,925 cases with 13 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Devotees continue to throng the ghats of Haridwar even as the country reels under a more severe second wave of coronavirus infections with many states running out of vaccines and beds for patients.
Nearly a million people have flocked to the banks of the Ganges to participate in the months-long “Kumbh Mela” or pitcher festival.
On Monday, the day of the auspicious Shahi Snan (ritualistic bath), nearly a lakh had gathered for the holy dip in absolute violation of Covid protocols issued by the Union Health Ministry.
People were seen without mask, with no social distancing as India logged over 1.6 lakh cases of coronavirus today.
Along with the devotees, thousands of seers, representing 13 Akhadas, offered prayers at the packed Mahakumbh Mela.
Most attending the mammoth festival, which is held every 12 years, have claimed that Covid is not a major concern since Uttarakhand has made negative RT-PCR tests mandatory for all.
Even as posters at the Mahakumbh urge devotees to ensure “dawai aur kadai” (discipline along with medicines) and warning are sounded at each ghat against violation of Covid-rules, several devotees say it is impossible to adhere by these guidelines and maintain social distancing at the festival.
Uttarakhand has reported 1,12,071 cases of coronavirus so far with 1,780 deaths.
India for the seventh consecutive day recorded over one lakh cases of coronavirus with 1,61,736 new infections in 24 hours. The resurgence of the virus has led to 879 new fatalities, taking the total death count to 1,71,058.