Kumbh should now be symbolic, says PM Narendra Modi amid surge in Covid-19 cases
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he spoke to a top seer over the phone and made an appeal about the Kumbh Mela that has so far attracted lakhs of devotees.
Amid nationwide concern over the large gatherings seen during the Kumbh Mela, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday appealed that the mela should now be only “symbolic” as it will help strengthen the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said he spoke to top seer, Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha president Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj, over the phone and made an appeal about the religious gathering that has so far attracted lakhs of devotees. Modi also enquired about the health of saints, many of whom have contracted the infection, and conveyed his appreciation for their cooperation with the local administration.
मैंने प्रार्थना की है कि दो शाही स्नान हो चुके हैं और अब कुंभ को कोरोना के संकट के चलते प्रतीकात्मक ही रखा जाए। इससे इस संकट से लड़ाई को एक ताकत मिलेगी। @AvdheshanandG
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 17, 2021
“I prayed that two ‘shahi snan’ have taken place and Kumbh (participation) should now be kept symbolic. This will boost the fight against this crisis,” the Prime Minister tweeted in Hindi.
Responding to Modi’s appeal, Avdheshanand urged people not to come in large numbers to the Kumbh Mela to bathe due to the Covid-19 situation, and to follow the rules. “Saving one’s and other’s lives is sacred,” he added.
माननीय प्रधानमंत्री जी के आह्वान का हम सम्मान करते हैं ! जीवन की रक्षा महत पुण्य है।मेरा धर्म परायण जनता से आग्रह है कि कोविड की परिस्थितियों को देखते हुए भारी संख्या में स्नान के लिए न आएँ एवं नियमों का निर्वहन करें ! @narendramodi @AmitShah @TIRATHSRAWAT #KumbhMela2021 #कुम्भ https://t.co/dNjPPnDztQ
— Swami Avdheshanand (@AvdheshanandG) April 17, 2021
The statement comes after the death of the head of the Maha Nirvani Akhada from Madhya Pradesh, who had arrived for the Kumbh and tested positive for the coronavirus. At least 59 saints have tested positive so far, including the president of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad, apart from more than 200 pilgrims (of 1.54 lakh tested), even as officials fumble before the impossible task of keeping the virus out at a gathering that has seen crowds up to 32 lakh.
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