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Kumbh Mela: Rishikesh's Bharat Bhoomi Tourist complex to be set up as Covid care centre amid rise in cases

Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat at Har Ki Pauri Ghat to check the preparations for the Kumbh Mela 2021, in Haridwar. (PTI)Premium
Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat at Har Ki Pauri Ghat to check the preparations for the Kumbh Mela 2021, in Haridwar. (PTI)

  • Keeping in view the Covid rules amid Kumbh Mela celebrations, Dehradun District Magistrate Ashish Srivastava said that Rishikesh's Bharat Bhoomi Tourist complex under Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited will be set up as Covid care centre

Amid a surge in coronavirus cases in Uttrakhand, the Dehradun district administration has acquired Bharat Bhumi Tourist complex under Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam in Rishikesh to utilise it as a Covid care centre.

Speaking to news agency ANI, District Magistrate, Dehradun Ashish Srivastava said, "Keeping in view of exercising COVID guidelines amid Kumbh Mela celebrations, Rishikesh's Bharat Bhoomi Tourist complex under Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited will be set up as Covid care centre."

The district authorities are preparing for the same, he added.

The development comes as Uttarakhand reported 791 fresh Covid-19 positive cases including 303 infections in Dehradun and 185 in Haridwar on Tuesday, taking the caseload to 1,03,602.

The Union health ministry had earlier asked the Uttarakhand government to implement its SOP for the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, Uttarakhand so that it does not become a "super-spreader event".

'No plan to cut short Kumbh Mela'

Despite the spike in Covid-19 cases, Union Health Ministry has said there are no plan to cut short the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar prematurely and is hoping that standard operating procedures (SOPs) are being followed there.

On being asked if Kumbh Mela can be a super-spreader of Covid-19, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said, "As the super spreader events are concerned, the union government almost a month ago issued an SOP, specifically for practices to be adopted in Kumbh and had a long meeting with the state government's officers."

"One fact that we usually lose sight of is that the duration of Kumbh has already been curtailed, Kumbh wherever it happens is usually for three and a half to four months, the present Kumbh has been curtailed to a month," he added.

A top source in the government, on the other hand, said the Centre is worried about the Kumbh and discussed this at a high-level meeting.

However, the government is not considering prematurely ending the holy congregation.

The Centre also asked for ideas from the officials to curb the spread of the infection.

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