In an unprecedented turn of events, cases in Uttarakhand have erupted with a 1,800% spike between March 31 to April 24. The spike is largely attributed to Haridwar Mahakumbh. There is an overwhelming consensus that the mass congregation was a super spreader of the Covid-19 virus in the Himalayan state.
A Disaster In The Making
Before this highly celebrated event, the total number of active cases in the Devbhoomi stood at a relatively nominal 1,863 by March 31. After the event from April 1, the cases escalated to a massive 33,000 by just April 24. The government data indicates that 35 Lakh people had convened at Haridwar on April 12, and the number of people to the city had reached a notch of 13.51 Lakh on April 14. Government spokesman and minister Subodh Uniyal asserted that the complacency and arrival of tourists were to be condemned for the sudden surge."We are doing everything to ensure that this is over soon," he added.
Bad Decisions Continue Despite The Health Crisis
The Char Dham Yatra, the holy pilgrimage of four sacred sites - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri in Uttrakhand is scheduled for next month. Observing this, the High Court has instructed the state to ensure that it does not result in another Kumbh fiasco. It has ordered the government to construct a set of guidelines for the yatra. Ravinath Raman, chairman of Char Dham Devsthanam Board and commissioner of Garhwal division, said, "The guidelines will be issued soon with every possible precaution so that the spread is not amplified. Our SOP will be on the lines of the safety measures of the Centre and state government and what we issued last year with added precautions." reported The New Indian Express.
As the country is grappling with over daily 3,23,144 fresh cases and 2,771 deaths, it accounts for 38% of global Covid-19 cases. There is increased criticism over allowing the huge gathering at the Kumbh and now the allowing of Char Dham Yatra due next month.