30 sadhus get Covid during Kumbh Mela

New Delhi: At least 30 sadhus have tested positive for Covid-19 and one has died during the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand.

This has added to fears that one of the world’s largest religious gatherings may add to the already spiralling cases of corona.

Kapil Dev, the chief of the Maha Nirvani Akhara, who was in Uttarakhand to attend the Kumbh Mela from Madhya Pradesh’s Chitrakoot, died in a hospital in Dehradun on Wednesday.

Mahant Narendra Giri, the leader of the All India Akhada Parishad, has been admitted to the AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in Rishikesh.

“Till now, 30 sadhus have tested positive for Covid-19. The cases are not in any specific akhada. There are cases in almost all the akhadas, including Niranjini, Juna and others,” said Dr SK Jha, Haridwar Chief Medical Officer.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat, however, has defended holding the Kumbh, saying that guidelines – which include the use of face masks and social distancing – were being followed.