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Covid-19 at Maha Kumbh Mela: Best Seer Dies, Niranjani Akhada Announces Departure – Highlights | India News

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NEW DELHI: In the wake of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the sadhu community in Maha Kumbh and leading seers dying from Covid-19 complications, Akhadas have started to emerge from the great pilgrimage that has so far hosted thousands of people.
The Kumbh mela will officially end on April 30 and the next royal bath will be on April 27. The Akhada Parishad, the supreme body of the 13 akhadas, plans to participate in the next royal bath, but only a few saints will go to the dressing.
On April 14, the day of Baisakhi shahi snan, which is considered one of the most auspicious days of the Kumbh, a staggering 9,43,452 devotees took a dip in the holy Ganges.
These are the highlights:
* Mahamandaleshwar Kapil Dev Das, 65, of Nirwani akhada of MP, one of the top 13 akhadas, died of Covid-19 complications at a private facility in Haridwar on Thursday in the Maha Kumbh area.
* The place in Kankhal where the seer Dev Das had been camping houses 10,000 more Saints and followers. Samples from everyone staying there are scheduled to be collected on Friday.

Covid-19 at Maha Kumbh Mela: Best Seer Dies, Niranjani Akhada Announces Departure - Highlights | India News

Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, head of the “Kinnar Akhara” congregation for transgender people, along with other members take a holy bath in the Ganges River during Shahi Snan on April 14. (Credit: Reuters)

* Niranjani Akhada, one of the largest naga sanyasi akhadas and the second most powerful after Juna akhada, has announced that he will be coming out of the meal on April 17.
* Niranjani’s secretary Akhada Mahant Ravindra Puri said that “most of the saints and their followers” in the Haridwar camps have symptoms similar to Covid-19.

Covid-19 at Maha Kumbh Mela: Best Seer Dies, Niranjani Akhada Announces Departure - Highlights | India News

A woman takes a dip in the Ganges during one of the Shahi Snans. Four ‘shahi snan’ and nine ‘Ganga Snan’ will take place in Haridwar this year. (Credit: AFP)

* Karnataka has made Covid testing mandatory for all Kumbh pilgrims returning to the state. Returnees have also been advised to resume their normal activities only after their Covid test report result is negative.
* Thirty-three police officers returning from Kumbh (between January and April 15) also tested positive. Many of them had reportedly taken both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Covid-19 at Maha Kumbh Mela: Best Seer Dies, Niranjani Akhada Announces Departure - Highlights | India News

Naga Sadhus participate in the procession to take a dip in the Ganges during Shahi Snan on April 14 (Credit: REUTERS)

* A senior health department official confirmed to TOI on Thursday that a total of 68 “head sighted” in Haridwar tested positive for Covid-19 between April 5 and April 14.
* According to the mela administration, 332 people (out of 14,915 tested) reported positive for Covid on Thursday.
* The administration has no record of the total number of Covid deaths among those attending the religious fair.
* Of the 13,415 tested on Wednesday, 119 tested positive; 79,301 people were tested since April 12 and 745 tested positive.

Covid-19 at Maha Kumbh Mela: Best Seer Dies, Niranjani Akhada Announces Departure - Highlights | India News

Sadhus take a dip on the banks of the Ganges River. (Credit: Reuters)

Kumbh mela
According to the calendar of important events, this year four ‘shahi snan’ and nine ‘Ganga Snan’ will take place in Haridwar.
The first bath took place on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri, the second took place on April 14, and the third on April 14. The fourth shahi snan is scheduled for April 27.
The ‘snans’ are part of the Kumbh Mela which is supposed to take place in Haridwar from April 1-30. The duration of the Kumbh festival has been shortened to 30 days this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Kumbh takes place periodically in four different places in India: Nashik, Haridwar, Prayagraj and Ujjain.
Under normal circumstances, Kumbh continues for almost four months, but this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the length of the congregation has been shortened to one month.
(With inputs from agencies)

Times of India

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