The Maha Kumbh Mela 2021 that began on 14 January is likely to be held till 30 April in Uttarakhand, in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. An estimated 10 lakh people are expected to attend the mela on regular days and this number is likely to go up to 50 lakh on certain festival days in the calendar.
The government on Sunday, 24 January, issued a set of guidelines to be followed at the event. Here’s what we know till now.
Who is allowed to attend Kumbh?
All devotees who want to attend Kumbh Mela 2021 should register with the Uttarakhand government.
Secondly, they should all obtain a COVID-19 negative certificate before they can attend the festival in Haridwar district.
Who is not allowed?
Vulnerable populations like pregnant women, children below the page of 10, those above 65 years of age and those with underlying comorbidities are discouraged to attend the Kumbh Mela.
What are the specifications for the certificate?
You should only get an RT-PCR test.
The test report should be no longer than 72 hours prior to the date of visit.
How long will it be held?
The Maha Kumbh is usually held for three months and is likely to be held until April.
What about vaccination? Is it mandatory to attend Kumbh?
In the first phase of vaccination, India is only facilitating jabs to healthcare and frontline workers.
Therefore, those healthcare workers who are on duty at the Kumbh would have been vaccinated.
What are the general protocols to be followed?
Wearing of masks is mandatory.
Maintaining physical distancing is stressed upon.
Face masks and hand sanitisers will be available at many popular spots.
Heavy penalties will be imposed for not following COVID-19 protocols.
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