Thousands gather for Kumbh as India fights Covid surge

Thousands of devotees, sadhus, some of them without masks, participated in the second ‘shahi snan’ of Maha Kumbh at Har Ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar on Monday.

Kumbh Mela Inspector General Sanjay Gunjyal admitted that it is difficult to ensure social distancing norms

“We are continuously appealing to people to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. 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,” Gunjyal said.

“A stampede-like situation may arise if we would try to enforce social distancing at ghats so we are unable to enforce social distancing here,” he said.

The first bath was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri, while the second will be held today and on April 14, the third royal bath will be taken by the 13 Akhadas.

India hit a new coronavirus infection record with 1,68,912 new cases, the highest single-day rise so far, taking the total tally of cases to 1,35,27,717, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Monday.

The national COVID-19 recovery rate has fallen below 90 per cent.

The active cases have surpassed the 12-lakh mark, while the death toll increased to 1,70,179 with 904 daily new fatalities, the highest since October 18, the data updated at 8 am showed.

With inputs from ANI

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