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Haridwar: Kumbh Mela in Haridwar witnessed a low footfall of devotees at Har Ki Pauri ghat on the first day amid the rising cases of Covid-19.

On Thursday, devotees took holy dips at the ghat on the first day of the Kumbh while adhering to the protocols put in place amid the pandemic. Announcements regarding social distancing, mask-wearing, etc are being made at the ghat and sanitiser stations have also been installed.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Wednesday assured that the state government is ready to organise a grand and safe Kumbh Mela and said concrete arrangements have been made for the convenience and safety of devotees.

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The Uttarakhand government has already released a set of guidelines that is to be followed, which requires people to strictly adhere to COVID-19 norms. A negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours before arrival has been made mandatory for devotees gathering for the Kumbh.

There will be three major bathing dates (shahi snan) on April 12, 14 and 27 during the Kumbh Mela this year.

Meanwhile, the administration had set COVID-19 testing kiosks at the borders of the state to test the people coming from outside to ensure the safety of the devotees.

The Kumbh will be held from April 1 to 30 in Haridwar. The Uttarakhand government has already released a set of guidelines that is to be followed, which requires people to strictly adhere to COVID-19 norms, including a negative RT-PCR test report. The state government has decided to limit the Kumbh this year to 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kumbh is held periodically at four different locations in India (Nashik, Haridwar, Prayagraj and Ujjain) every four years.

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