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Lakhs of Devotees Throng Gangasagar Mela Amid Rise in COVID Cases in West Bengal

West Bengal reported 22,645 new cases of COVID-19 on 14 January.

Updated
India
1 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Lakhs of devotees thronged the Gangasagar Mela, to take a holy dip at the point where the Ganges joins the Bay of Bengal.</p></div>
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Even as West Bengal reported 22,645 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, 14 January, with a positivity rate of 31.14 percent, lakhs of devotees thronged the Gangasagar Mela in the state, to take a holy dip at the point where the Ganges joins the Bay of Bengal.

With Makar Sankranti celebrations kicking off, local authorities expect more devotees to arrive on Saturday.

The Calcutta High Court had, on 7 January, allowed the state government to organise the Gangasagar Mela from 8 to 16 January despite the fresh surge in COVID-19 cases. However, the court imposed certain restrictions and asked the state government to act upon them immediately.

The instructions have to be implemented by the Chief Secretary as per the direction of the division bench.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Large crowds at the Gangasagar Mela in West Bengal.</p></div>

Large crowds at the Gangasagar Mela in West Bengal.

(Photo courtesy: Samir Jana)

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The court also called for the formation of a committee which will keep a vigil in respect of compliance of the above directions, as well as the measures suggested by the state government in its affidavit.

According to a report in The Telegraph, lapse in COVID protocol arrangements have drawn the attention of the Calcutta High court’s monitoring team members, who made consecutive visits to the Mela venue on Wednesday evening and on Thursday afternoon, when they in categorical terms expressed their displeasure.

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