The exponential rise in Covid-19 cases in India has shaken the country. Amid the surge in Covid cases, the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar saw lakhs of devotees in attendance.
The ongoing Kumbh Mela has been at the centre of controversy amid fears that it could be a super spreader event with lakhs of devotees attending the event as the second wave of the coronavirus surges uncontrollably.
Covid protocols of social distancing, use of mask etc were rampantly flouted during the Kumbh Mela, resulting in a high number of devotees testing positive for Covid and the death of Sadhu of Jabalpur.
Now that the devotees are to return to their native place, various states have raised their guards and expressed concerns about Kumbh returnees spreading the virus.
States including Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat have issued new guidelines for Kumbh returnees.
As per the new guidelines, Kumbh returnees will require to get themselves tested and stay in home quarantines for a period of 10 to 14 days.
The Covid test will be conducted at the bus and railway stations upon their return.
Delhi residents who have visited the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar or are planning to do so will have to undergo compulsory 14-day home quarantine on their return and upload their details on an official website, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority said in an order.
The order issued on Saturday said those who visited Kumbh from 4 April onwards or those who plan to do so till the end of the religious congregation at Haridwar on April 30 will have to upload their personal details, ID proof, and dates of departure and arrival back to Delhi at the website www.delhi.gov.in.
"All residents of Delhi who have visited or are going to visit Kumbh 2021 at Haridwar, shall be required to compulsory home quarantine themselves for 14 days on arrival to Delhi," said the order issued by Vijay Dev, Chief Secretary and chairperson on the executive committee of DDMA.
The Odisha government on Saturday said all returnees from the Kumbh Mela will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, apart from RT-PCR tests before setting foot in the state, in an effort to rein in the spread of COVID-19.
The quarantine can be completed at home or temporary medical camps (TMC), Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said in an order.
Those returning from the ongoing Kumbh Mela at Haridwar should isolate themselves, the Madhya Pradesh government said on Saturday.
District administrations should collect information about those returning to the state after taking part in the Kumbh and ensure that they "self-isolate or are quarantined", said an order issued by Madhya Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajesh Rajora.
People returning to Gujarat after attending the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar will have to undergo an RT-PCR test before they are allowed to enter their respective cities and villages, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Saturday.
"Collectors of all districts in Gujarat have been directed to keep a watch on the Kumbh Mela returnees and enforce a nakabandi' (security checking) to prevent their entry in their hometowns without undergoing an RT-PCR test," Rupani told reports in Jamnagar.
The Maharashtra government on Saturday ordered that all Kumbh returnees should undergo quarantine at home for at least 10 days.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said that those returning from Kumbh Mela should be quarantined for ten days in hotels and they should be left only if they test negative.
Covid test would be mandatory for all Karnataka pilgrims returning from Kumbh Mela at Uttarkhand’s Haridwar, state Health Minister K. Sudhakar announced on Thursday.
“Pilgrims returning to the state after taking part in the holy Kumbh mela at Haridwar must self-isolate at their home for a week and take an RT-PCR test,” said Sudhakar in a tweet in Kannada, tagging an order from the state Health Department.