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Limit pilgrims & curtail duration of Kumbh: Centre to U’khand

Asks state government to fix a daily upper limit of people on the basis of carrying capacity of Ghats during Kumbh

After laying down stringent protocols such as compulsion of RTPCR tests, pre registration and discouraging vulnerable groups for the upcoming Kumbh in Haridwar, the union ministry of health and family welfare department has now asked the Uttarakhand government to put up a cap on the number of devotees and suggested that the duration of Kumbh Mela should be curtailed for limiting the potential transmission of the infection of Covid-19. In a letter directed to the chief secretary of Uttarakhand Om Prakash, the Union secretary Rajesh Bhushan has warned that the current low incidence of the cases in the country has created some complacency in conforming to the Covid appropriate behaviour. “In any instance of a large number of people gathering at one place for a significantly long duration of time, enforcing physical distancing, wearing of masks etc itself will be an issue. It is essential that there should be a cap on numbers attending the Mela on each day,’’ he said.

The union secretary has said that the state government should fix an upper limit on number of pilgrims on the basis of the carrying capacity of Ghats, disease surveillance and enforcement capacity. Giving examples of Amarnath Yatra, Kanwar Yatra and Jagannath Rath Yatra, the union secretary said that the state government should also examine curtailing the duration of Kumbh Mela.

Bhushan said that due to the sustained efforts, India has performed well in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Now we must ensure that the infection does not spread and create a spike that will again challenge the public health systems,’’ the letter reads. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 | PNS | Dehradun

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