India; The Kumbh Mela Festival Can Make the Positive Covid-19 Numbers Rise

UMMATIMES - The Indian Ministry of Health on Sunday, March 21, 2021 warned that crowds gathered to commemorate Kumbh Mela, a Hindu religious festival, could increase the number of coronavirus infections in India. It has been almost four months that the positive number of Covid-19 in India has continued to rise.

India's Health Ministry said there have been 40 more positive Covid-19 people per day in recent weeks in the area around Haridwar, a city close to the Ganges river, India.

Kumbh Mela is a festival that is held once in 12 years. The coordinating committee said it is estimated that more than 150 million visitors will come to commemorate the festival because many Hindus firmly believe that bathing in the Ganges during the festival period can cleanse themselves from sin and salvation during life on earth and after death.

The Indian Ministry of Health has sent a letter to the Uttarakhand state government, regarding this. Haridwar city is in the state of Uttarakhand, India.

In the letter, the Ministry of Health said carrying out corona virus tests on 55 thousand people in Haridwar was not enough given the very high number of worshipers who attended. The cases of the corona virus are currently very high.

"The positive number of Covid-19 has the potential to increase rapidly and turn into an increase in cases," read a letter from the Indian Ministry of Health.

There are currently more than 12 states in India that have seen a surge in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. People who want to go to Haridwar during the Kumbh Mela festival come from several states, including regions with high positive Covid-19 numbers.

Responding to this warning, the Uttarakhand state government said it had ordered the Kumbh Mela congregation to wear masks. Authorities will also distribute millions of masks for free and keep public areas clean.

In the past 24 hours, India reported 43,846 new cases of the coronavirus. The highest positive number of Covid-19 in India is in the state of Maharashtra, which is 60 percent of the total corona virus infections in India.

Data from the Indian Ministry of Health shows that 197 people have died from Covid-19 or the highest in the last two months. A total of 159,755 Covid-19 patients have died.