New Delhi: Kumbh Mela, a religious pilgrimage witnessing the world’s largest mass gathering in one country, has started this year with devout loop making a sacred dive into the Ganga River on the occasion of Maha Shivratri. The auspicious festival that fell on March 11 this year, celebrates the wedding of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati.
The sacred dive marks the beginning of Haridwar Kumbhand who is said to have seen over 30 lakh people bathing in various stretches of the river bank.
There are six good days during the fair: Magh Purnima (February 27, 2021), Mahashivratri (March 11, 2021), Somvati Amavasya (April 12, 2021), Baisakhi (April 14, 2021), Ram Navmi (April 21, 2021)), and Chaitra Purnima (27 April 2021).
These days mostly witness a large crowd of people gathering at Har Ki Pauri Ghat to make the holy bath.
However, this time, it is not the same as before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Central and state governments have come up with some guidelines to ensure coronavirus safety protocols are followed.
This year, the fair will be organized for a shorter arc and will take place between 1 and 30 April.
The center has instructed the Uttarakhand Government to pursue costly registration and a mandatory medical certification regime on similar lines as practiced for Amarnath Yatra.
All worshipers wishing to attend Kumbh Mela will:
a Register with the Government of Uttarakhand.
b Obtain a mandatory medical certificate from the nearest Community Health
Worshipers coming to the Kumbh Mela site without a mandatory medical certificate issued by a competent authority will not be allowed.
Simple public health measures should also be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures must always be respected by all:
1. Individuals should maintain a minimum distance of 6 meters in public places as much as possible.
2. The use of face masks / masks becomes mandatory. Mask distribution kiosks with Government-approved tariffs can be set up at entry points and parking lots. Measures will be taken to distribute free masks to those who cannot afford to pay.
3. Imposition of fines / penalties for those who do not pay for not wearing a mask / face mask or for non-compliance with physical norms of distancing should be done by law enforcement agencies.
4. Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when the hands are not visibly soiled. Using alcohol-based hand cleaners (for at least 20 seconds) can be done wherever possible.
5. Establishment of hand washing stations in public service areas and ensuring the availability of soap and water. The use of used taps for feet and contactless soap dispensers is mandatory.
6. Breathing labels to be followed exactly. This includes the strict practice of covering the mouth and nose when coughing / sneezing with a tissue / handkerchief / elbow bent and removing properly used tissue.
7. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness earlier to the State and District Helpline.
8. Saliva should be strictly prohibited. Installing and using the Aarogya Setu App will be advised for everyone.
9. COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test report
10. Worshipers with negative RT-PCR test report (test done 72 hours before the visit date) will only be allowed to enter the Kumbh Mela site. Worshipers can keep such test reports either on their cell phones or in hard copies.
Under health arrangements, 100 teams have been set up for thermal screening while teams performing COVID-19 tests have increased to 50 out of 40 and ambulances have also increased to 54 out of 32. A team of 100 doctors and 148 paramedics staff from Uttar Pradesh has also arrived in Haridwar.
Tents and toilets will be made and all Mahamandleshwars will also be equipped with the necessary equipment.
Link to register:https://dsclservices.org.in/kumbh/
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