The Charm Dham Yatra recently began after a two year long covid induced hiatus. Looking at an influx of passengers the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board has issued a health advisory for all pilgrims. All pilgrims before undertaking the journey need to go for a health examination and those ailing from any disease need a doctor’s prescription, doctor’s phone number and an adequate supply of medicines. Additionally, senior citizens with serious ailments or post covid complications have been advised to not undertake the journey, owing to the altitude and associated issues of cold temperatures, lack of oxygen and low humidity.
Pilgrims have also been advised to travel slowly and get acclimatised, along with avoiding strenuous exercises and intaking plenty of fluids and a nutritious diet. In case one experiences acute mountain sickness — loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, congestion, rapid breathing and an increased heart rate — they should contact the nearest medical facility.
Not only this, but the health department has also strengthened the infrastructure on the route. While the temples are located in Chamoli, Rudrprayag and Uttarkashi, Tehri, Haridwar and Pauri fall along the route and the respective Chief Medical Officers have been instructed to make life saving drugs and oxygen available on the crowded stretches. For pilgrims to Kedarnath, 14 temporary medical relief posts have been set up, and for those headed to Badrinath 19 permanent medical units are already present and one medical relief post has been set up. Similarly, for Yamunotri, five First Medical Responders and a Medical Relief Post has been set up. Along with this, specialist doctors and Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers have also been stationed at Badrinath and Kedarnath. In case of an emergency, 108 of the National Ambulance Service and 104 of Uttarakhand Health Helpline can be contacted.