Kumbh Mela 2021 begins in Haridwar today, new COVID-19 guidelines in place for devotees

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Haridwar Kumbh Mela

The Haridwar Kumbh Mela commenced on Thursday (April 1) in Uttarakhand. Devotees will participate in three shahi snans which are slated for April 12, 14 and 27.

New Delhi: The Haridwar Kumbh Mela commenced on Thursday (April 1) in Uttarakhand. Devotees will participate in three shahi snans which are slated for April 12, 14 and 27.

Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were issued by the state government to contain the spread of the virus. Uttarakhand has mandated a negative RT-PCR test report for the devotees visiting Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. 

The administration has arranged for COVID-19 testing kiosks at the borders of the state to test people coming from outside to ensure the safety of the devotees, ANI reported. 

The new SOPs were announced after almost 32 people tested positive for COVID-19 at an ashram. 

The Kumbh Mela will be held for only 30 days this year, from April 1 to 30, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat while inaugurating the underground cabling project in the Kumbh on Wednesday, said, "Our government is fully prepared for organising the divine, grand, beautiful and safe Kumbh in Haridwar. All the concrete arrangements have been made here for the convenience and safety of the devotees. The state government is committed to ensuring that saints and devotees do not have any problem here." He also urged people to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols. 

As per Ministry of Health data, Uttarakhand recorded 1,696 active cases with the death toll at 1,713 as of March 31. 

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