Uttarakhand CM appeals to people to follow COVID guidelines during tomorrow's Shahi Snan

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Dehradun, Apr 13 (PTI) Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has appealed to the people to follow COVID guidelines during the third Shahi Snan on Wednesday of the ongoing Kumbh in Haridwar, a day after all precautions were brazenly ignored during the event sparking fears of a super-spreader.

He said all arrangements have been made on the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar for the convenience of pilgrims during the Shahi Snan on the occasion of 'Mesh Sankranti' but they should not lower their guard in view of the rising cases of coronavirus.

Like several other states, Uttarakhand also recorded the highest single-day spike in COVID cases and fatalities this year with 1,925 people testing positive. The chief minister said separate timings for the holy dip by each Akhada at Har ki Pairi have been earmarked while the rest of the Ghats will be open for devotees and asked all to wear masks, maintain social distancing and sanitise their hands. Mela official Deepak Rawat also held a meeting in Haridwar to review the preparations for Wednesday's royal bath and ordered an increase in the number of sanitation workers for the cleaning of the ghats as well as the routes to be used by seers and devotees to reach the banks.

Masks were not worn by a large proportion of devotees on Monday and social distancing appeared impossible at an event in which, according to Rawat, about 35 lakh people participated. The hill state recorded 10 more deaths due to the coronavirus on Tuesday. Dehradun district with 775 cases, Haridwar with 594, Nainital with 217 and Udham Singh Nagar with 172 led the infection table. PTI ALM RT RT RT