Covid-19 spike: Crowd gathers at Haridwar for Kumbh mela

A huge crowd gathers at Haridwar for Kumbh Mela, police say difficult to ensure social distancing:

At a time when India is battling with the second wave of coronavirus, events like the Kumbh Mela are a reason for concern for the authorities. There are big crowds near the river banks who wish to take a holy dip on the occasion, while not keeping social distancing in mind. In Haridwar people have gathered for the second royal bath of the Kumbh early on Monday. The police said that it is very difficult for them to ensure social distancing or issue challans.

Inspector-general of Police, Haridwar Kumbh Mela, Sanjay Gunjyal said: “We are continuously appealing to people to follow Covid appropriate behavior. But due to the huge crowd, it is practically not possible to issue challans today. It is very difficult to ensure social distancing at ghats. 

And this comes when the country is already trying to control the spread of the second wave of covid-19 with almost 1 lac cases being reported daily. The Inspector-general warned that the enforcement of social distancing at ghats may lead to a stampede-like situation.

A massive crowd gathered on the second day of the royal bath to take the holy dip in the Ganga river at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar. The IG said that the general public will be allowed here till 7 am and after that, the area will be reserved for the akharas.

It does not end here; on 14 April, the third royal bath will take place. This comes at a time when many states are taking measures like night curfews and weekend lockdowns to restrict gatherings and to curb the ever-increasing surge in Covid 19 cases.

On Saturday, Uttarakhand reported 1,233 fresh Covid-19 infections, 317 recoveries, and three deaths. The Covid-19 case tally in the state stood at 107,479, with over 6,000 active cases till Saturday.