COVID-19 cases surge in Uttarakhand; 200 new infections detected

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Dehradun, Mar 24 (PTI) Uttarakhand reported 200 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a chunk of them from Haridwar, which is in the final stages of preparations to host the Kumbh Mela from April 1.

While no fatality due to the disease was reported in a day, the state is witnessing a surge in infections.

Haridwar reported the highest number of 71 new cases, followed by Dehradun with 63, Nainital 22, Udham Singh Nagar 14, eight each in Pauri, Rudraprayag and Tehri, five in Pithoragarh and one in Almora, a COVID-19 control room bulletin said.

However, no fresh cases were detected in Bageshwar, Chamoli, Champawat and Uttarkashi districts.

It has been made mandatory for devotees gathering in Haridwar for Kumbh to furnish a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours.

Chief Secretary Om Prakash said the Uttarakhand High Court has issued clear directives in this regard.

The high court has mandated a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours or a vaccination report for attending the Kumbh.

Soon after taking over as chief minister, Tirath Singh Rawat had said it was not compulsory to bring a negative RT-PCR test report to attend Kumbh. It is a religious event that comes once in 12 years and devotees can attend it freely, he had said.

However, Rawat later ordered strict compliance with the guidelines issued by the Centre in view of COVID-19. PTI ALM IJT