India

Ahead of Mahakumbh, Centre raises Covid flag

The Centre has raised concern concerning the potential surge of Covid-19 instances through the upcoming Mahakumbh and directed the Uttarakhand authorities to place in place stringent measures to manage the unfold of the viral sickness on the non secular congregation scheduled to start in Haridwar on April 1.

Union well being secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to state chief secretary Om Prakash “strongly highlighting the concerns raised by the high level central team in its visit to Uttarakhand and about the need of stringent measures to control the spread of Covid19 during Kumbh Mela”, the Union well being ministry mentioned in a press release on Sunday.

The growth comes a day after Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat assured devotees that each one “unnecessary” restrictions imposed to comprise the unfold of the Covid-19 will probably be eliminated for the occasion, and asserted that “faith is stronger than fear”. The CM’s assertion additionally comes a time a number of states, together with Maharashtra and Punjab, have launched restrictions on gatherings and different curbs to stem the viral outbreak.

The director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr SK Singh, led the excessive stage central staff that visited Uttarakhand on March 16-17, 2021, to evaluate the medical and public well being preparedness measures undertaken by the state for the occasion.

Bhushan, in his letter, identified that at the least 12 states within the nation have reported a spike within the day by day quantity of Covid-19 instances previously few weeks, and that pilgrims who’re more likely to go to Haridwar for the congregation may be from among the many affected states. There is a “potential of an upsurge in cases in the local population after the auspicious Shahi Snan days during the Kumbh Mela”, the assertion learn, referring to the Hindu ritual of taking a holy tub in river Ganga.

States similar to Maharashta, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh accounted for 77.7% of the brand new instances on Saturday.

The well being secretary additionally mentioned the day by day Covid-19 testing of 55,000 folks in Haridwar was not sufficient given the big numbers of pilgrims anticipated, and that instances have been already rising. “This positivity rate has the potential to rapidly turn into an upsurge in cases, given the expected large footfall during Kumbh,” Bhushan mentioned.

Despite a raging pandemic, at the least 30 million individuals are anticipated to attend the curtailed Mahakumbh (one-month-long), believed to be the most important non secular congregation held each 12 years. Normally, 120 million pilgrims attend the congregation that’s often a four-month-long occasion.

Among different measures that the Centre has suggested Uttarakhand are to make sure that Union well being ministry’s commonplace working procedures issued for the Kumbh are strictly adopted, scale up testing in potential excessive transmission areas, and proceed periodic testing of frontline employees earlier than and after the shahi snan days.

The advisory additional states that in case of a sudden surge or a super-spreader occasion (when one contaminated particular person goes on to contaminate a number of others), the state administration ought to promptly ship samples for genome sequencing. This might assist monitor if the outbreak is because of a variant that could be extra infective than the predominant sort of Sars-CoV-2.

Much just like the pattern in the remaining of the nation, Uttarakhand has been seeing a resurgence of instances previously month, in what the consultants say could possibly be the start of second wave of infections. In the previous week, the state reported 80 instances a day on common – an increase of 174% from the 29 instances a day (seven-day common) it was reporting within the week ending February 25.

Back to top button