Amid the fears of coronavirus, the government of Uttarakhand has limited Kumbh Mela 2021 to 30 days. However, all COVID norms are being flouted during the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. Thousands of saffron-clad devotees gathered at Har Ki Pauri in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar for a holy dip in the Ganga flouting all norms and restrictions against the spread of coronavirus. The seers took out grand Shobha Yatras by turns through the main thoroughfare of the pilgrimage city. So far, seers of three akharas have bathed in the river at Har ki Pauri while bathing by devotees is underway at the other ghats. The Kumbh Mela is proving to be a super spreader of coronavirus as over thousands of devotees are testing positive for coronavirus everyday. But what is even more shocking is that The mega Kumbh Mela will continue till April 30 and the government has no plans to close it early. Meanwhile, Gujarat and Odisha mandated COVID-19 tests for Kumbh Mela returnees. Those found Covid positive must quarantine for 14 days. Delhi has also mandated home quarantine for them on return.
Gujarat, Odisha & Delhi Impose Restrictions On Kumbh Mela Returnees
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani informed on April 17 that all devotees returning to the state from the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar must undergo a mandatory RT-PCR test before they enter their respective cities and villages. Moreover, if anyone is tested Covid positive, the person must undergo a 14-day quarantine. Odisha government also made the COVID-19 test mandatory for everyone boarding trains or flights in Uttarakhand after visiting Kumbh Mela. Similar to Gujarat, those who test Covid positive have to quarantine for 14 days. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) directed all Kumbh Mela returnees to Delhi to home quarantine for 14-days. Apart from this, residents of Delhi who visited Kumbh Mela must upload all their details on the Delhi government website. The official order states that if anyone violates the directive the person will face severe legal action.
Kumbh Mela 2021 to be held from 1st to 30th April this year. The fair to be held for 30 days only in the wake of #COVID19 pandemic. Government to issue a notification by the end of March: Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash
— ANI (@ANI) February 18, 2021
Pilgrims Will Get Passes After Submission Of Negative RT-PCR Test Reports
Also, District Magistrate C Ravishankar had said that passes will be mandatory for entry to the fair and the pilgrims will get them only after the submission of a negative RT-PCR test report, medical certificate, and identification proof. Ravishankar said, “Pilgrims will need passes for Kumbh and the passes will be issued only after submission of a negative RT-PCR test report, medical certificate, and identification proof. Those without passes will be denied entry.”
Cameras Installed To Check On Crowd Formation
The administration of the Kumbh Mela has placed cameras to check on the formation of crowds in the Ganga ghats. The district administration has demanded 70,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the personnel on duty. Also, artists have turned Haridwar into a mythology-themed city with colourful wall graffiti to make devotees aware of its significance in the Maha Kumbh Mela. The graffiti art campaign is called “Paint My City”, run by the Haridwar-Roorkee Development Authority.
Meanwhile, if there is one spectacle, you can’t miss in India, it’s the Ganga Aarti. Witness the beautiful Maha Aarti at the Varanasi ghats here: