When the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is at its spike and is spreading fast across the country, events like the Kumbh Mela pose a particular concern for the authorities. People gathered in big crowds near the river banks for having a holy dip on the occasion, throwing social distancing in the air. Such a thing is being witnessed in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, where people have gathered for the second royal bath of the Kumbh early on Monday. The police said that it is very difficult for them to ensure social distancing or issue challans.
“We are continuously appealing to people to follow Covid appropriate behavior. 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,” said Inspector-general of Police, Haridwar Kumbh Mela, Sanjay Gunjyal, according to news agency ANI.
The festival comes when the country is trying to fight and manage the spread of the second wave of Covid-19 that took the case tally to over 13 million. The Inspector-general warned that the implementation of social distancing at ghats may lead to a stampede-like situation, reported ANI.
“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,” ANI quoted Gunjyal as saying.
A huge crowd assembled on the second day of the royal bath to take the holy dip in the Ganga river at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar. The IG said, reported ANI, that the general public will be allowed here till 7am and after that, the area will be reserved for the akharas.
As the Covid-19 situation in the country is currently alarming with the number of new cases breaching records daily. To control the spread of the infection, many states have imposed night curfew and lockdown-like measures to avoid huge crowds.
Uttarakhand on Saturday reported 1,233 fresh Covid-19 infections, 317 recoveries, and three deaths. The Covid-19 case tally in the state stood at 107,479, with over 6,000 active cases till Saturday, reported ANI.