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Kumbh Mela: Centre asks Uttarakhand Govt to put in place stringent measures to control spread of Covid-19

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to Chief Secretary Uttarakhand strongly highlighting the concerns raised by the high level central team in its visit to Uttarakhand and about the need for stringent measures to control the spread of Covid 19 during Kumbh Mela.

A high-level Central Team visited Uttarakhand recently to review the medical and public health preparedness measures undertaken by the state for the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.

The Union Health Secretary has also observed that currently, more than 12 states have shown a surge in COVID 19 cases during past few weeks. Pilgrims expected to visit Haridwar during the Kumbh Mela could also be from these States. He said it has been noted that there is a potential of an upsurge in cases in the local population after the Shahi Snan days during the Kumbh Mela.

The Secretary also noted that as per the report of the Central Team, 10 to 20 pilgrims and 10 to 20 locals are being reported positive every day. This positivity rate has the potential to rapidly turning to an upsurge in cases, given the expected large footfall during Kumbh.

The state has been informed that the daily testing numbers reported in Haridwar are not enough to effectively offset huge number of expected pilgrim footfall. It has been advised that the share of RTPCR tests being conducted at present needs to be significantly increased as per the ICMR guidelines to ensure that the pilgrims and local population is appropriately tested.

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