Make Kumbh Mela symbolic in view of Covid surge: PM tells saints

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New Delhi: In view of the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases across India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the Sant Samaj to make the on-going Kumbh Mela in Haridwar symbolic.
Modi said that he spoke to Swami Avdheshanand Giri of Juna Akhara over the telephone and enquired about the well-being of all saints.
“Today, I spoke to Swami Avdheshanand Giri of Juna Akhara over the telephone and enquired about the health of saints. Every saint is cooperating with the administration. I extended my gratitude to all saint for this,” he tweeted in Hindi.
“I prayed that two ‘Shahi Snans’ have been done and now, the Kumbh should be kept symbolic. It will help us strengthen our fight against the crisis,” the PM said in another tweet.
His request comes in the wake of numerous saints and devotees testing positive during the mela and two prominent seers succumbing to it.
Responding to the PM’s tweet, Swami Avdheshanand Giri, in a tweet, said, “We respect the request of the PM. Life is very important.” He also urged the people not to participate in large numbers in the Holy Dip and follow all COVID norms.
In Haridwar, Uttarakhand, people are participating in the ongoing Kumbh Mela in large numbers along with saints, increasing the risk of COVID infections in the wake of the second strong COVID wave.