COVID Surge: PM Modi Pleads For Early End To Kumbh Dips, Top Hindu Seer Echoes Call

New Delhi: With the religious gathering at Kumbh Mela in Haridwar emerging as a super spreader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday appealed for an early end to ritualistic baths to check the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, the month-long festival “should now only be symbolic” as it will boost the country’s fight against the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, he added.

“I prayed that two ‘shahi snan’ (royal baths) have taken place and Kumbh (participation) should now be kept symbolic. This will boost the fight against this crisis,” the PM tweeted in Hindi.

The PM’s appeal came after around 2,000 Kumbh devotees tested positive for COVID-19 in around a week’s time. Also a Hindu seer has succumbed to the virus and 80 other holy men have tested positive after attending Kumbh, where COVID-19 safety protocols have gone for a toss.

Also Read: Haridwar Reports 1,000 COVID-19 Cases In 2 Days As Millions Gather To Take Holy Dip At Kumbh Mela

In another tweet, Modi informed that he spoke over the phone to top Hindu seer Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj to convey the appeal.

“Spoke to Acharya Swami Avdheshanand Giri ji on the phone today. Enquired about the health of all saints. All the saints are providing support to the administration for a smooth conduct of the affair and I thanked them for it,” he tweeted.

Echoing the PM’s call, Swami Avdheshanand, who is the president of Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, appealed to people against coming to Kumbh for bathing in large numbers and follow rules.

“We respect Prime Minister’s appeal. I request the people to not come for snan in large numbers, in the wake of COVID19 situation, and follow all rules,” he tweeted in Hindi.

The Kumbh Mela, which is celebrated after 12 years, has been curtailed to one month from April 1 to April 30 due to the pandemic. Traditionally, it is celebrated four almost four months from mid-January to April.

Also Read: Kumbh Mela Is Becoming A Super-Spreader, Says Govt

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