At Kumbh Mela, 102 devotees test positive for COVID-19

At Kumbh Mela, 102 devotees test positive for COVID-19

The medical department tested 18,169 devotees at the site between 11:30 pm on Sunday and 5 pm on Monday.

Amid concerns that lakhs of people present at the Kumbh Mela would turn the holy congregation into a super spreader, as many as 102 people were tested positive for COVID-19 between Sunday and Monday, officials said.

The medical department tested 18,169 devotees at the site between 11:30 pm on Sunday and 5 pm on Monday.

The Kumbh Mela administration failed on many fronts as the COVID-19 protocol was openly flouted. Basic preventive measures such as effective thermal screening and wearing of masks are also not being checked, several reports said.

At Kumbh Mela, 102 devotees test positive for COVID-19
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The first COVID-19 barrier to fall was the mandatory entry norm of negative RT-PCR test reports of the devotees that are allowed. Indian Express in its report, said that of over 50 devotees being asked about their RT-PCR reports — at least 15 did not have them but were let through.

The authenticity of the negative reports too, is a question.

Kumbh Mela Inspector General (IG) Sanjay Gunjyal on Monday also admitted that it is difficult to ensure social distancing norms during the holy dip.

“Challans for not wearing masks and thermal screening were avoided today (Monday) to prevent crowding at any specific location,” Gunjyal added.

However, Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat said the state government has ensured the implementation of all Covid guidelines drafted by the Centre. “We have followed the Government of India’s guidelines 100 per cent,” Rawat said.

It is estimated that 31 lakh people turned up for the ‘shahi snan’ (royal bath) in River Ganga on Monday, Kumbh Mela Police Control Cell said.

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