Kumbh Returnees Will Spread COVID, Should Quarantine: BMC Mayor

“Those returning from Kumbh Mela to their respective states will distribute corona as ‘prasad’,” the BMC Mayor said.

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A health worker collects nasal sample from a passenger for COVID-19 test, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj terminus in Mumbai. (Image for representative purpose only)

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday, 17 April, said that they are thinking of putting Kumbh returnees under quarantine on their return.

“Those returning from Kumbh Mela to their respective states will distribute corona as ‘prasad’. All these people should be quarantined in their respective states at their own cost. In Mumbai also, we’re thinking of putting them under quarantine on their return.”
Kishori Pednekar, BMC Mayor to ANI

The Kumbh Mela (fair) is currently being held in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar where thousands of pilgrims have been gathering along the banks of the Ganga. This has been a cause for concern as India witnesses a second wave of COVID-19 and several states are reporting an alarming surge in the number of COVID-19 infections.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also said that the ongoing Kumbh Mela should now only ‘be symbolic’ as the country continues to grapple with an unprecedented health crisis.

Pednekar, Too, Calls For a ‘Complete Lockdown’

While speaking to news agency ANI, she also called for a complete “lockdown” in Mumbai.

“95 percent of Mumbaikars are adhering to COVID-19 restrictions. The remaining 5 percent of people who are not following restrictions are causing problems to others. I think a complete lockdown should be imposed looking at the current COVID-19 situation.”
Kishori Pednekar, BMC Mayor to ANI

Her comment comes in the backdrop of the rising cases in the country. Maharashtra is one of the worst-affected states, it recorded over 63,000 infections in a single day in the last 24 hours. Mumbai alone recorded 8,839 new cases in the last 24 hours.

A few days ago, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stopped short of announcing a lockdown in the state but he announced a slew of restrictions including a ban on gatherings to curb the spread of the virus.

Thackeray announced that Section 144 of the CrPC will be imposed in the state for 15 days, in a bid to tackle COVID-19 infections that he said were “exploding dangerously” in the state. These restrictions are in place till 1 May.

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