Huge crowd gathers for Kumbh Mela in Haridwar amid coronavirus pandemic

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Haridwar: Thousands of devotees, some of them without masks, gathered by the river Ganges in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar on Sunday in densely packed crowds for prayers during the Kumbh Mela – one of the largest religious gatherings in the world.

Besides, huge crowd here was also spotted on Monday as people have gathered for the second royal bath of the Kumbh.

The police said that it is very difficult for them to ensure social distancing or issue challans.

A massive crowd gathered on the second day of the royal bath to take the holy dip in the Ganga river at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar.

This comes when the country is trying to combat and control the spread of the second wave of Covid-19 that took the case tally to over 13 million. The Inspector-general warned that the enforcement of social distancing at ghats may lead to a stampede-like situation.

Even as warnings against violation of COVID-19 rules have been installed at almost all the ghats and experts have urged general public to avoid large gathering and maintain social distancing to avoid further spread of the coronavirus, several devotees say it is practically impossible to adhere by these guidelines during the pilgrimage.

Meanwhile, several traffic diversions have been made across the city and separate timings have been allotted to all 13 Sadhu Akhadas, during which No devotees will be allowed the access to the bathing ghats.

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