PM Modi says 'Kumbh Mela should now only be symbolic to strengthen Covid-19 fight'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand's Haridwar must be now kept "symbolic" to help India in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Shivani
Updated on: 2021-04-17T10:04:16+05:30
PM Modi says Kumbh Mela should now only be symbolic to strengthen Covid-19 fight
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand's Haridwar must be now kept "symbolic" to help India in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic after speaking to Swami Avdheshanand Giri over the phone. Several seers have tested positive for Covid-19 and two chief seers, or mahamandaleshwars, have succumbed to the viral disease.

"Spoke to Acharya Swami Avdheshanand Giri ji on the phone today. Enquired about the health of all saints. All the saints are providing support to the administration for a smooth conduct of the affair and I thanked them for it," PM Modi tweeted in Hindi.

Take a look at hi tweet!

"Now that two royal baths have taken place, I appeal to everyone to keep Kumbh Mela symbolic due to the coronavirus crisis. This will give strength to India's fight against the virus," he said in another tweet.

The PM's appeal comes in the wake of nearly 2,000 devotees testing Covid-19 positive at Kumbh in around a week's time. A majority of devotees who took part in the two 'royal baths' (shahi snan) held on the occasion of Somwati Amavasya on April 12 and Mesh Sankranti on April 14 were seen flouting the Covid-19 norms.

Top seer at Kumbh Mela in Haridwar dies of Covid-19

A Hindu seer has died from coronavirus and 80 other holy men have tested positive after attending a vast Indian religious festival where millions of pilgrims have been ignoring Covid-19 advice despite a national surge in infections.

The announcement from authorities in Haridwar, Uttarakhand state, came as India recorded more than 217,000 fresh cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of new infections to more than two million since April 1.

The ongoing Kumbh Mela has been shortened this year to just one month from April 1 to 30 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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