ITAHARI: JAN. 14 – Thousands of Hindu pilgrims have begun arriving in the northern Indian city of Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) for a festival amid a massive surge in COVID-19 infections.
Devotees believe that bathing in the river Ganges during the Makar Sankranti festival would cleanse their sins. A similar gathering had contributed to India’s deadly second wave last year.
But the authorities in Uttar Pradesh state, where Prayagraj is located, have refused to ban this year’s event. On Thursday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appealed to people to follow all necessary Covid protocols during the event, known as Magh Mela.
However, infections are being reported from the Mela ground even before the start of the event. A large tent city has sprung up on the riverbank in the past few days
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