Kumbh Mela: 102 test positive as COVID norms go for toss, say reports

Haridwar: COVID-19 protocol went for a toss as lakhs turned up for the second shahi snan (royal bath) in the Ganga at Haridwar on April 12.

And according to medical department officials, over 18,169 devotees were tested between 11.30 pm Sunday and 5 pm Monday — 102 were found positive.

Reportedly, over 28 lakh devotees turned up for the second shahi snan (royal bath) in the Ganga amid a Covid surge across the country. This also showed how the Uttarakhand government is struggling to keep in place basic preventive measures such as effective thermal screening and wearing of masks.

The number of tests was far less than expected despite the state government making a negative RT-PCR test mandatory. As per the report, devotees without a test report were allowed to take a dip.

Additionally, no arrangements were made for thermal screening, and the new AI-enabled cameras were rendered useless as no action was taken against those found without a mask, the report said.

Kumbh Mela IG Sanjay Gunjyal said that challans were not issued on April 12 to avoid further crowding.

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