70 lakh participated in Kumbh mela amid COVID crisis

As many as 70 lakh people participated in Haridwar’s Kumbh Mela, the mammoth religious congregation which ended Friday after triggering a scare that it might have acted as a coronavirus “super-spreader”.

Held over three months in normal circumstances, the Kumbh Mela this time formally begun as late as April 1 due to concerns over COVID-19.

A huge number of people gathered around Haridwar to take a dip in Ganga. The event was reduced to just one month and scaled down midway due to the raging pandemic.

According to reports, about 2,600 devotees tested positive out of the nearly two lakh tests conducted by medical personnel during the mela.

Three shahi snans took place during the event on April 12, 14 and 27, the last one being reduced to a largely symbolic event.

The crowds began petering out after an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the seers to keep their representation in Kumbh symbolic.