The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to publicise the standard operating procedures for the upcoming Char Dham Yatra amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, reported PTI. The court said that the event “cannot be allowed to turn into another Kumbh Mela”, which led to a sharp rise in infections in the state.
The Char Dham Yatra is scheduled between May 14 and May 18. The pilgrimage, which attracts a large number of devotees, begins from Yamunotri, then proceeds to Gangotri and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath.
On Tuesday, Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma made the remarks during the virtual hearing of a clutch of petitions related to the state government’s handling of the pandemic.
The court instructed the state government to increase Covid-19 testing by deploying mobile vans in the interior regions of the state. It also asked the state authorities to increase the number of Covid-19 hospitals apart from supplying adequate personal protective equipment kits and other instruments of safety to healthcare workers.
The state government was directed to take the help of central agencies to build temporary hospitals and admit Covid-19 patients.
Government hospitals should be equipped with CT (computerised tomography) scan machines and 25% of the private hospital beds should be reserved for those holding BPL (below poverty line) cards, the court added.