Covid second wave grips India: Security tightened in Kumbh Mela; social distancing, covid norms flouted in public events

14 April, 2021 | newsx bureau

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More than 20,000 paramilitary personnel and police officials have been deployed in Uttrakhand to keep a watch over the Kumbh Mela as nearly a million devotees flocked to the banks of the Ganges to ...

The second wave 0f the covid-19 pandemic seems to be worsening than the first wave as the covid-19 cases in India reaches an all-time high. India recorded 1,61,736 new cases in the last 24 hours on Tuesday making the count of overall case number at  1,36,89,453 so far. while many state governments have imposed certain restrictions on the movements of people and lockdown in many parts of India were also anticipated, there are some states where public gatherings can be witnessed in huge numbers as we stand amidst a raging pandemic.  

The Uttrakhand government organized the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar and millions of devotees flocked to the banks of river Ganga to participate in the month-long festivities. The Uttrakhand government showered flower petals on the devotees from helicopters on the people who had marched barefoot to the destination. On Sunday, Uttrakhand reported 1,333 new covid-19 cases taking the total number of the cases to 1,08,812 and the active cases in the state stand at 7,323. Moreover, 26 people tested covid positive in the 9,768 random covid-19 test that was conducted around the Kumbh Mela region on Monday.

Taking cognizance of the matter, the duration of the Kumbh Mela has been reduced to just one month due to the rising covid cases. Post an order by the Uttrakhand high court, the authorities have made a negative RT-PCR report and it has been made mandatory that the report should not be older than 72 hours. other must-follow-norms like wearing masks and sanitizing hands have also been made mandatory to ensure covid-appropriate behaviour.  however, strict measures like monetary compensations or punishments for violations of the guidelines have not been implemented. Inspector General Sanjay Gujyal who is monitoring the activities at Kumbh Mela stated that it’s practically not possible to issue ‘challans’ due to the massive gathering.

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Meanwhile, in Karnataka, the state government issued guidelines on Wednesday for the upcoming festivities of Ramzaan amid the second wave of the covid pandemic. After the covid-appropriate norms issued by the state government, reports of Laathi charges were recorded from the Bellary region during the Kada Siddheshwar fair where the devotees were seeking to pull the chariot violating the covid-19 norms. The district government sought immediate action and banned all the festivities in the district.

Implementation of covid-appropriate behavior and norms has been made mandatory across many states in India. On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government also issued certain guidelines to curb the rising cases of covid-19 in the state and restricted movements of people allowing the essential services to continue.

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