Will follow Covid protocols during Kanwar Yatra: UP minister

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Lucknow, Jul 15 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh on Thursday said his government will look into the directions issued by the apex court over the Kanwar Yatra and will ensure that the Covid protocols are followed during the annual pilgrimage.

The statement has come a day after the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to allow the yatra from July 25 amidst the Covid pandemic and sought responses from the state and the Centre.

Recently, neighbouring Uttarakhand had cancelled the yatra, citing the expected third Covid wave.

As of now, discussions are being held with district-level officials over the preparations for the yatra and strict Covid protocols will be maintained, the minister told PTI.

“All necessary precautions like checking fever with the help of infrared thermometers will be ensured,” he said, adding talks have also been held with “kanwar sanghs”.

“Effort will be to ensure that a minimum number of people participate in the yatra and they are vaccinated. It will be seen that people do not assemble in temples and offer water, and keep moving,” the minister said.

On the Supreme Court taking suo moto cognisance of the matter, the minister said the guidelines issued by the apex court will be looked into.

On Wednesday, a bench headed by Justice R F Nariman referred to a statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that not even a bit of compromise can be made on COVID-19 containment and said citizens were perplexed about the happenings in view of the fact that the UP government has allowed the annual pilgrimage from July 25.

It also issued a notice to the Centre and the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand while posting the matter for hearing on Friday. PTI SAB RDK RDK

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