Updated: April 16, 2021 1:14:37 pm
At a time when India is seeing a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases across the country, several videos of people flouting social distancing norms have surfaced on social media. After many pictures and videos of devotees gathered together at the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, one of the world’s largest religious gatherings, had gone viral, now a clip of people in Andhra Pradesh engaged in a local ritual of throwing cow dung at one another has raised serious concerns online.
Shared by news agency ANI, the 23-second clip features hundreds gathered together at Andhra Pradesh’s Kairuppala village in Kurnool district to take part in the ‘Pidakal war’, an annual tradition that involved throwing cow dung at each other. None of the participants is seen wearing face masks or following social distancing norms.
Watch the video here:
#WATCH Social distancing norms violated at ‘Pidakal war’, during which cow dung cakes are hurled by two sides at each other on the next day of Ugadi, in Kairuppala village, Kurnool district yesterday#AndhraPradesh pic.twitter.com/4GGHpyyXn3
— ANI (@ANI) April 15, 2021
The video of the incident, which took place on April 14, has been widely circulated on social media and has prompted worrisome reactions among netizens, especially when Andhra Pradesh recorded over 4,000 new Covid-19 cases. A similar precedent was also seen at Kumbh Mela in Haridwar where lakhs of devotees turned up for the holy bath in the Ganga.
A majority of the 48.51 lakh people, who took part in the last two ‘royal baths’ (shahi snan) held on the occasion of Somwati Amavasya on April 12 and Mesh Sankranti on April 14, were seen openly violating Covid norms like wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.
India is in the grip of a second Covid wave, with the country recording the highest single-day spike of over 2 lakh cases on Thursday.
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