The holy city of Haridwar in Uttarakhand has reported more than 1,000 coronavirus cases over the past 48 hours after a massive crowd of devotees was seen taking dips into the Ganga River at the Mahakumbh festival. Taking the city’s active caseload to 2,812, Haridwar logged 1,002 new infections (408 on Monday, 494 on Tuesday) over the past two days.
A sea of saffron-clad seers and ash-smeared Nagas converged at Har ki Pauri in Haridwar for a holy dip in the Ganga during the Shahi Snan of the Kumbh Mela this week.
Led by their ‘Mahamandaleshwaras’, the sadhus from different Akhadas took out Shobha Yatras through the main thoroughfare of the pilgrimage city to gather at Brahma Kund, Hari ki Pairi for the Shahi Snan – or the royal bath — on Somvati Amavasya that took place on Monday. Followed by them were lakhs of devotees coming over from across the country for pilgrimage in Haridwar.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat appealed to the people to follow Covid guidelines during the third Shahi Snan on Wednesday of the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.
“There should be no comparison between Kumbh and Markaz. The Markaz was held in a closed space, in a Kothi like structure whereas the Kumbh is being held in the open on the sprawling ghats of the Ganga,” Rawat said on a weekly talk show organised by the Hindustan Times.
His statement comes in view of increased talks on Kumbh strengthening the second wave of the coronavirus infection. Citing other differences between the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar and Nizamuddin Markaz, Rawat said, “The devotees attending Kumbh are not from outside but our own people.
Uttarakhand recorded its highest single-day spike of 1,925 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths on Tuesday.