Thursday, December 2, 2021

Negative RT-PCR test report mandatory to enter Kumbh Mela; Health Ministry issues guidelines to prevent Corona in Mela

Devotees with negative RT-PCR test report will only be allowed to enter the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. The test should be done  72 hours prior to the date of visit to the Mela site. The spitting should be strictly prohibited in the Kumbha.

Union Health Ministry yesterday issued  Standard Operating Procedures on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 during Kumbh Mela.  As per the SoPs,  Uttarakhand government will follow registration of the devotees and a compulsory medical certification. The vulnerable population age more than 65 years,  pregnant women,  children below the age of 10 years and those with underlying comorbid conditions will be discouraged to attend the Kumbh Mela.

During the Khubh, individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places as far as feasible. Use of face covers and masks will be made mandatory. The state has been asked to  establish hand washing stations in public utility areas and ensure availability of soap and water. Use of foot operated taps and contactless soap dispensers is mandatory during the Mela. The Kumbh Mela Administration  has been asked to identify spatial boundaries of the Mela Area keeping in view the physical distancing requirements and prepare a detailed site plan which would facilitate compliance with thermal screening, physical distancing and  sanitization. Multiple and separate entry and exits for devotees will  be ensured. Events like exhibitions, fairs and  prayer meetings   within the Kumbh Mela site will be restricted and  regulated as far as feasible. Besides,  seating arrangements in the pandals, food courts and  prayer meetings  must ensure adequate physical distancing.

The state government will deploy adequate public health teams in coordination with other agencies. It  will also set up a surveillance system in accordance with the surveillance and response plan for epidemic prone diseases with focus on COVID-19.  The state  has been asked to substantially increase the bed capacity.  Mega-size temporary hospitals of 1000 beds  that would augment bed capacity  will be  established.

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