Makar Sankranti: Odisha bans religious gatherings; no holy dip at Haridwar, Rishikesh either

A lot of devotees take the ‘holy dip’ within the Ganga in Haridwar and Rishikesh at the instance of Makar Sankranti.

Authorities in Odisha Tuesday banned spiritual gatherings at river banks and ghats on Makar Sankranti and Pongal on January 14, whilst the Uttarakhand executive additionally disallowed devotees from taking a dip within the Ganga at Haridwar and Rishikesh in view of the coronavirus surge.

The transfer got here whilst professionals warned that permitting the once a year Gangasagar Mela — scheduled between January 8 and 16 at the instance of Makar Sankranti — on Sagar Islands, which is set 130 kms from Kolkata, may just grow to be a “super-spreader” tournament. According to executive orders issued in Uttarakhand, devotees were requested to not take a bathtub on Makar Sakranti at the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar and Rishikesh in view of the surge in Covid circumstances.

The access of devotees to Har ki Pauri in Haridwar, Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh, and different ghats has been banned, Haridwar District Magistrate Vinay Shankar Pandey and Dehradun District Magistrate R Rajesh Kumar stated of their separate orders.

A lot of devotees take the ‘holy dip’ within the Ganga in Haridwar and Rishikesh at the instance of Makar Sankranti.

COVID circumstances were emerging in Uttarakhand during the last few days with a complete of two,127 infections reported on Tuesday and 1,292 the day prior to.

In Odisha, the place of job of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) stated in a recent set of tips that congregations at river banks, ghats, ponds, sea shores or close to different waterbodies for bathing at the instance of Makar Sankranti and Pongal and on the next day to come is unlawful right through the state.

Since huge crowds accumulate on the temples at the instance, the order stated that every one spiritual puts and puts of worship will stay closed to the folk on Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Makal Mela days.

However, spiritual rituals will allowed with naked minimal selection of clergymen, servitors and workforce, it stated.

“Religious congregations/ celebrations are strictly prohibited,” the order stated.

People are recommended to accomplish the rituals and puja at the instance at their properties with handiest their members of the family. They must keep away from mass gatherings and cling to the COVID-19 protection protocols, it stated.

Odisha recorded 7,071 new COVID-19 circumstances on Tuesday, a pointy upward push of 46 in keeping with cent over the day past’s determine of 4829 circumstances and the most important one-day spike in over seven months, the well being division stated.

The government within the two states introduced the ban whilst well being professionals as soon as once more recommended going forward with the once a year Gangasagar Mela.

They stated that the Mela, similar to the Kumbh Mela held at Haridwar and Allahabad amongst different puts, which draws lakhs of folks may just become right into a “hot source of transmission of the coronavirus”.

“It (Gangasagar Mela) will definitely be a super-spreader. There is no doubt of that. The number of daily cases will be much more than what we are seeing now,” Dr Anima Halder, main of state -run Infectious Diseases and Beliaghata General (ID&BG) Hospital, advised PTI.

In the final seven days, West Bengal has witnessed an enormous surge in Covid infections with the positivity charge capturing to 37 in keeping with cent. West Bengal reported over 24,287 infections on Sunday, the best for the reason that pandemic started.

A docs’ discussion board had filed a writ petition prior to the Calcutta High Court in search of a ban at the amassing. The HC allowed the Mela to continue on assurances from the state executive that it will take steps to put in force Covid protocols and after ordering that the island be declared a notified spaces, a committee be set as much as observe the measures taken, and to make sure that handiest double vaccinated individuals who have had RT-PCR Covid exams achieved 72 hours prior to achieving Sagar are allowed.

Echoing Dr Halder’s apprehensions, Dr Hiralal Konar, one of the most conveners of the West Bengal Joint Platform of Doctors, stated that there’s a very robust chance of the location going out of hand and warned the healthcare infrastructure could be seriously challenged if that occurs.

“Though, we know that the Omicron variant is not as fatal as previous strains, the rate of transmissibility will definitely cause havoc after the congregation has taken place at Sagar Island. This will definitely be a severe challenge to the health infrastructure,” Dr Konar advised PTI.

Dr Shanta Dutta, director of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, additionally reiterated the similar concern pointing out that controlling folks and making them observe protection protocols is a difficult job in one of these giant amassing.

“Distancing while taking the dip? That will not be possible. So, it will definitely pave the way for the virus to transmit more and more,” Dr Dutta advised PTI.

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