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Uttarakhand caps gatherings at 200, exempts Kumbh Mela

On Thursday, 14,915 samples were collected and at least 332 people were found Covid positive in the Kumbh Mela area.

Devotees during the third shahi snan of the Kumbh Mela 2021 at Har ki Pauri Ghat in Haridwar, Wednesday. (PTI)

UTTARAKHAND GOVERNMENT on Thursday restricted gatherings at religious, social and political events to 200 people but exempted Kumbh Mela from it. The exemption was given despite more than 1,700 people testing positive for Covid-19 in Kumbh Mela area between April 1 and April 15.

A directive issued by Chief Secretary Om Prakash said not more than 200 people will be permitted in religious, political and social events and wedding ceremonies. For the Kumbh Mela area, the order said SOPs issued by the Centre on January 22 and the state on February 26 will be applicable.

When asked about the exemption to Kumbh, the Chief Secretary said, “These restrictions are for private ceremonies.”


Disaster Management Secretary SA Murugesan confirmed that the fresh restriction of 200 people in religious and social gatherings will not be applicable in Kumbh Mela area. He said for the same reason it has been mentioned in the fresh order that SOPs issued earlier will be applicable in the Mela area – Haridwar district and parts of Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal and Tehri Garhwal districts.

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On Thursday, 14,915 samples were collected and at least 332 people were found Covid positive in the Kumbh Mela area.

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The fresh order said swimming pool and spa centres will remain closed and coaching centres will also remain closed in all districts. Gyms, cinema halls, restaurants and bars will operate with 50 per cent crowd capacity. Public transport will also operate with 50 per cent of passenger capacity. But these activities, including gatherings, will remain prohibited in containment and micro containment zones.

The order said pubic movement will remain prohibited from 10.30 pm to 5 am across the state. Essential and emergency services will remain exempted from the night curfew. Those associated with wedding ceremonies and the banquet halls will be exempted from night curfew restrictions.

According to the bulletin issued by the health department, 2,220 new positive cases and nine deaths were reported in Uttarakhand on Thursday.

The order from the state government came after canvassing for assembly bypoll in Salt constituency of Almora district come to an end at 5 pm on Thursday.

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