While the country is battling to fight against the surge of coronavirus, devotees were seen gathered at ‘Har Ki Pauri’ in Haridwar on Tuesday, 27 April, for the last ‘shahisnan’ at the Kumbh Mela.
Over 2,000 believers from 13 different akhadas and 25,000 devotees bathed in the Brahma Kund at Har Ki Pauri on Tuesday. Pilgrims were allowed to take a dip in the Ganga at Har-Ki-Pauri prior to the arrival of the akhadas at 9 am.
The last of the shahisnans (holy dips) of the Mahakumbh witnesses only a few tens of thousands of devotees participating in the event on account of Covid-19 which much lower than the millions usually taken place shahisnans, but they still ignored protocols such as wearing a mask or social distancing.
Prime Minister Modi had made appeal on April 17, asking the Akhadas to observe the Kumbh (April 1 to 30) and the last of the shahisnans in spirit only, and said that the ongoing Kumbh Mela should now only be “symbolic". Infections have claimed the lives of two chief oracles during the Kumbh, and many others have been infected. Pilgrims have also carried back infections from the event to other parts of India.
Uttarakhand, has already imposed a curfew in Haridwar, Roorkee, Laksar and Bhagwanpur from Wednesday, 28 April, till 5 am, 3 May.
Prior to the event, on 31 March, the total number of active cases in the hill state were 1,863. Following the beginning of the event on 1 April, the state’s tally rose to 33,330 on 24 April.