The last 'shahi snan' at the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar on Tuesday was a subdued affair with seers keeping the ritual symbolic in view of a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 17 had appealed to sadhus to observe the remaining duration of the Kumbh only in a "symbolic" manner. Following this different 'akhadas' (sects) had agreed to keep their participation symbolic. Crowds at the ghats of the Ganga started thinning down drastically since last week after the key 'akhadas' of seers began pulling out of the Maha Kumbh, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, citing the spike in coronavirus case numbers. Watch the full video for more details.
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Despite surge in COVID-19 cases in India, scores of devotees gathered at 'Har Ki Pauri' in Haridwar on April 27. They participated in the last 'shahi snan' of 'Kumbh Mela' and took holy dip at the ghat. Due to COVID pandemic, this year the 'Kumbh Mela' held for a month only.
After a comparative lull for a few months, the Covid virus seems to have returned with much more virulence. India is detecting more than double the number of daily cases than seen during the peak last year. Meanwhile, mass gatherings like political rallies and the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar have added to worries. The government however, is still keeping vaccination limited to those aged 45 years and above. As pressure on the healthcare system increases, many state governments have claimed shortage of oxygen, vaccines, and key drugs. In this backdrop, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan joins Kumkum Chadha to analyse the situation so far, and shed light on the government's strategy going forward.
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PM Modi said Kumbh Mela must now be kept 'symbolic' to help India in battling Covid-19. Taking to twitter, PM Modi said he has spoken to Swami Avdheshanand Giri over phone. While several seers have tested positive, two chief seers have succumbed to Covid-19. Responding to the PM's call, Avdheshanand urged people to not come to Kumbh in large numbers. PM's appeal comes in wake of nearly 2,000 devotees testing positive in a week's time. The ongoing Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar has witnessed footfall of thousands. Majority of devotees who took part in the 'royal baths' were seen flouting Covid norms. 'Royal baths' were held on Somwati Amavasya on April 12 and Mesh Sankranti on April 14.
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Seeing the rise of COVID cases, the Niranjani Akhada announced its intentions to limit their participation in Kumbh Mela till April 17. The development comes after several of the saints testing positive for coronvirus. Niranjani Akhada secretary Mahant Ravindra Puri said the 'Maha Snan' has concluded, and keeping in mind the continuous spread of COVID-19, the akhada will not participate in the event any further. However, Kumbh Mela Inspector General Sanjay Gunjyal said the decision is limited to the jurisdiction of the akhada and the ongoing Kumbh Mela will continue until further orders. More than 1000 devotees have tested positive for coronavirus in last few days, with images and videos of massive gathering at Har Ki Pauri attracting criticism amid the second wave of pandemic in the country.
Scores of devotees gathered at 'Har ki Pauri' for 'Ganga aarti' in Haridwar on April 14. A large number of devotees offered prayers during the on-going 'Kumbh Mela'. However, social distancing norms were flouted, with several of devotees seen without masks. In last 48 hours, over 1,000 devotees have been tested COVID positive at 'Kumbh Mela'.
In Uttarakhand's Hardiwar, lakhs of devotees gathered at Hari Ki Pauri for Ganga Aarti. This comes at a time when the country is undergoing another Covid wave. Social distancing norms were flouted. In normal circumstances, Kumbh continues for nearly four months but this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the duration of the congregation has been curtailed to one month. Kumbh is held periodically at four different locations in India (Nashik, Haridwar, Prayagraj, and Ujjain) every four years. Watch the full video for more details.
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Kumbh Mela is one of the largest religious congregations in India, and the fact that it would be a "super spreader" of the virus was firmly predicted by many officials and common people at large.Times Now reports in Madhya Pradesh, 60 out of the 61 returnees test positive. It was further speculated that all of these 61 people were not from Kumbh Mela, and the number might vary.
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India's daily Covid figures hit a new high today with 3,79,257 fresh infections and 3,645 deaths reported in 24 hours; The U.S. government told its citizens to leave India as soon as possible because of the country's escalating Covid-19 crisis; In view of a surge in coronavirus cases, the Uttarakhand government has decided to suspend the four-day Char Dham Yatra. This and more news at 2 PM.
#ExitPolls #Covid #CharDhamYatra
In the latest episode of On The Record, Hindustan Times’ National Political Editor, Sunetra Choudhury speaks with Dr Ashish Jha, Dean at Brown University, about the second wave of Covid-19 in India. Jha said the Kumbh Mela was very irresponsible and a major source of the surge alongside the political rallies. “By mid-February, cases had started to rise and headed for a very dreaded second wave and yet there was no action,” Jha added. Watch the full video for more.
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Uttarakhand Minister Subodh Uniyal on May said, "Uttarakhand government has decided to impose 'COVID Curfew' between 6 am on May 11 and 6 am on May 18 across the state to contain the spread of the disease. Essential services will be allowed during this period." "Interstate travellers will now have to produce negative RT-PCR result not older than 72 hours and will have to register themselves on the Dehradun administration's portal. People of Uttarakhand coming from outside will have to undergo 7-day isolation," he added.
As India battles the deadly second wave of Coronavirus Pandemic, another horryfying case of deaths due to lack of oxygen comes to light, Eleven Covid patients who were in the ICU ward died at a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh's Tirupati on Monday evening after the supply of medical oxygen was disrupted.
#Covid19 #Tirupati #OxygenShortage
On the occasion of the second shahi snan in Kumbh, Niranjani Akhada sadhus took a holy dip in river Ganga at Har Ki Pauri Ghat in Uttarakhand's Haridwar. Sadhus defy COVID SOPs during shahi snan. General public was allowed to take a dip till 7am. The first bath was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri. Uttarakhand reported 1,333 new cases on April 11, taking the active caseload to 1,08,812.
Devotees in Varanasi's famous Vishwanath temple stood in long queues on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri, as they waited eagerly for their turn to perform the holy rituals on Shivling. As Hindu devotees stood in queues, people of the Muslim community were seen showering petals on them to give out the message of brotherhood in line with the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb. This culture refers to the fusion of Hindu-Muslim cultures found in northern states like Uttar Pradesh, especially the region that falls between the banks of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. This was not for the first time that such a wonderful gesture was shown by the people of a particular community in Varanasi. Locals say that be it the festivals of Hindus or Muslims, we celebrate each and every festival together and the same was witnessed during Mahashivratri. Celebrated with great fervour and zeal across the country, Mahashivratri is considered most auspicious for spiritual growth. Literally translating to - the great night of Shiva, the occasion is believed to celebrate the marriage of Shiva, the Lord of destruction and Parvati, goddess of fertility, love and beauty.
In remarks that could create uproar, new Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat expressed his shock over a woman, who he met during a flight, wearing ripped jeans and was a social worker by profession. Holding parents responsible for westernisation of young children, Rawat said, "Showing bare knees, wearing ripped denim and looking like rich kids- these are the values being given now. Where is this coming from, if not at home? What is the fault of teachers or schools? Where am I taking my son, showing knees and in tattered jeans? Women are not any much less, displaying their knees. Is that good?" Devotees at Kumbh to be showered with flowers from copters on Mahashivratri.
Haridwar, the site of Kumbh Mela, saw more than 3700 cases of coronavirus between April 01 and April 14, informed city's Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Shambhu Kumar Jha who added that more than 30 Sadhus..