Despite soaring COVID-19 cases in India, it appears that a religious river dipping ceremony still took precedence, with around 25,000 people turning up for the mass gathering on 27 April 2021.
Known as the Shahi Snan (Royal Bath), the event formed a large religious festival where pilgrims soak in the Ganges river to erase their sins.
To cope with rising cases, however, it was said that the crowd was kept low, with attendees wearing masks and adhering to social distancing.
Police personnel were also said to be on site to help control the proceedings, with frequent inspections to ensure restricted attendance.
So all in all, it wasn’t that bad, right?
Well, maybe not quite.
About 25,000 People Reportedly Gathered for a Ceremony in India Despite Soaring COVID-19 Infections
In the image shown by The Scroll, testing, mask-wearing, thermal screening and genuine test reports seemed to be ignored in the event.
Meanwhile, the image shown by The Print revealed a lack of social distancing or even masks.
The state’s Chief Minister has, however, disregarded the comparison to another religious gathering, the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in March 2020, where a few thousand Muslims convened only to lead to numerous Covid-19 clusters around the nation.
“They [Markaz attendees] were all inside a building and here it is out in the open and this is near the Ganges. The flow and blessings of Ma Ganga will ensure that coronavirus does not spread. The question does not arise of a comparison.”
Apparently, 2,000 individuals tested positive over five days. But even so, the festival was not cancelled.
New Daily Covid-19 Record
India’s total number of cases has officially crossed the 18-million mark as of 29 April 2021.
It also garnered 379,257 new cases and 3,645 new deaths within the span of a day.
Hospitals, morgues and crematoriums are all said to be overwhelmed, with Indian netizens taking to the Internet to air their grievances over crashed websites, where vaccination registration was supposed to take place.
Despite everything, however, the government has stayed “positive” in its stance.
In a statement released on 28 April 2021, it said: “Statistics indicate that far from crashing or performing slowly, the system is performing without any glitches.”
Featured Image: indiatimes.com