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Kumbh Might Become COVID-19 Super Spreader: Central Government Official Expresses Apprehension At Review Meet

The Uttarakhand government has already released a set of guidelines ahead of Kumbh that is to be followed, which requires people to strictly adhere to COVID-19 norms

Kumbh Might Become COVID-19 Super Spreader Central Government Official Expresses Apprehension At Review Meet
Highlights
  • Kumbh is held periodically at four locations in India lasting four months
  • Due to the COVID-19, the duration of Kumbh has been curtailed to a month
  • There will be 3 major bathing dates during the Kumbh Mela this year

New Delhi: A senior official in the Central government, during a Secretary-level meeting over the COVID-19 situation in the country on Monday (April 5), expressed apprehension that the ongoing Kumbh might become a “super spreader”, according to a top source in the government. The source said the government is worried about the Kumbh and discussed this at a high-level meeting on Monday. “If the government does not decide to end Kumbh before the stipulated time, it may become a COVID-19 ‘super spreader’,” a member in the high-level meeting said.

Also Read: COVID-19 Spreading At Fast Pace, Next Four Weeks Critical: Centre

The government is forming a team that will appeal to all with the help of sadhus and religious leaders to ensure pilgrims, who are visiting the Kumbh, wear masks and follow social distancing, the source told ANI.

“At the same time, the government also suggested that a message should be given through TV and radio, and posters should be put up at public places to create awareness amongst masses that the pandemic is not over yet,” the source added.\

Also Read: COVID-19 Affecting Children More Than In First Wave, Says A Pediatrician

However, the Centre is not considering prematurely ending the holy congregation. The government also asked for ideas from the officials to curb the spread of the infection. Sources added that the government is planning to run a “Healthy Fear for Corona” mission to ensure that the fear of the disease remains in the people and they feel discouraged to flout the established health norms.

Also Read: Indian Medical Association Urges PM Modi To Start Vaccination For All Above 18 Years, Suggests Limited Lockdown

The Uttarakhand government already released a set of guidelines that is to be followed, which requires people to strictly adhere to COVID-19 norms. A negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours before arrival has been made mandatory for devotees gathering for the Kumbh. The Central government has already directed the Uttarakhand government to follow all the “stringent measures” to control the spread of the deadly virus during the Kumbh. There will be three major bathing dates (shahi snan) on April 12, 14 and 27 during the Kumbh Mela this year. Kumbh is held periodically at four different locations in India — Nashik, Haridwar, Prayagraj, and Ujjain — every four years. In normal circumstances, Kumbh continues for nearly four months but this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the duration of the congregation has been curtailed to one month.

Also Read: COVID-19: Uttarakhand Government Releases New Guidelines Ahead Of Holi, Kumbh

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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