Another potential super spreaders of virus? Hundreds of Hindus gather in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh for dip in Ganga in violation of COVID rules

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In a repetition of this year’s Kumbh Mela, hundreds of Hindus have once again violated COVID-19 norms by gather in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to take a dip in the river Ganga as part of their religious rituals. The gathering of at least 10 million Hindus in Haridwar had led to the dangerous spread of the pandemic, which killed hundreds of thousands of Indians.

river Ganga
Photo: India Today

In the latest development, hundreds of Hindus gathered in Haridwar to take a dip in Ganga on the occasion of Ganga Dussehra. 

“There’s a huge crowd for Ganga snaan but the people are careless,” India Today quoted one devotee, identified as Gaurav. He added, “No one is following Covid guidelines here. I am alert and keeping my face mask on. I would like to appeal to the people coming here to take a dip to follow Covid guidelines, wear a mask and maintain social distancing. The coronavirus has not gone away.”

Similar violations were reported from Farrukhabad city of Uttar Pradesh. A news report by Amar Ujala said that a huge crowd also turned up at other parts of UP such as Mathura, Varanasi and Hapur, throwing the corona rules out of the window.

The news of hundreds of Hindus violating COVID norms by taking a dip in the river Ganga came hours after the local administration in Haridwar had reportedly cancelled this year’s Ganga Dussehra ievent.

Superintendent of Police (SP), City of Haridwar Kamlesh Upadhyaya was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Saturday, “After meeting with the officials of Shri Ganga Sabha including various religious institutions in Haridwar, it has been decided that Ganga Dussehra will be celebrated in a symbolic way.”

Nort too long ago, it was revealed how the organisers indulged in fraud while conducting coronavirus tests for those arriving to take part in this year’s Kumbh Mela. A report by news agency PTI said that Max Corporate Service, Nalwa Laboratories Private Limited of Hisar and Delhi-based Dr Lalchandani Lab have been accused of issuing fake negative test reports to scores of people.