tirsdag 13. april 2021

Haridwar: Crowds surging at Kumbh Mela as India overtakes Brazil in Covid cases

Several million Hindus have gathered to take a dip in the Ganges river as a deadly second Covid-19 wave continues to sweep India. The devotees are marking an auspicious bathing day on Monday at the Kumbh Mela religious festival in Haridwar city in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. Officials say they are struggling to impose safety norms due to huge crowds.

Hindus believe the river is holy and bathing in it will cleanse them of their sins and bring salvation.The Kumbh Mela takes place every 12 years and the venue is chosen from amongst four cities, including Allahabad, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain. Haridwar's turn to host the gathering came amid a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus infections, with India consistently reporting more than 100,000 cases daily in the past few weeks.

On Monday, India logged more than 168,000 new cases, overtaking Brazil to become the country with the second-highest number of cases globally. With the total case tally of more than 13.5 million cases, India is now only behind the United States which has reported more than 31 million cases. With 13.4 million cases, Brazil is now at number three.