Kumbh amid COVID-19: 65-year-old monk dies even as 2,000 test positive in five days

After two ‘royal baths’ April 12 and 14, the last will take place April 27 at the Kumbh

By Vivek Mishra
Published: Thursday 15 April 2021
A Sadhu at the Kumbh Mela 2021. Photo: Midhun Vijayan / CSE

A 65-year-old Sadhu or ascetic died from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) April 13, 2021 even as the number of positive cases in the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Haridwar touched 2,000 in five days, officials said.

Sadhu Kapil Das of the Nirvani Akhada died at the Kailash Hospital in Dehradun at 10:30 pm. He was from Madhya Pradesh and had been staying at the Bairagi Camp in Haridwar.

Das’ health had deteriorated April 12. He was then taken to Dehradun, where his COVID-19 report was found positive, Chief Medical Officer SK Jha told Down to Earth.

Jha said a comprehensive investigation would be carried out at the Bairagi camp where the monks stayed by April 17.

Meanwhile, in Haridwar, the next Shahi Snan will take place April 27. Two ‘royal baths’ took place between April 10 and 15.

The loudspeakers fitted for informing about COVID-19 appropriate behaviour have been removed. A large number of pilgrims have gone back. Local shopkeepers told DTE that not even 10 per cent people who had visited Haridwar during the Kumbh in 2010, visited this time.

However, the number of deaths in Haridwar from COVID-19 are happening at a much faster in April than in March. There were eight COVID-19-related deaths in March 2021. There have been eight deaths due to COVID-19 just in the half of April so far.

According to the district medical department, there were 16,123 antigen tests in Haridwar and the Kumbh area as of 3 pm April 15. Some 154 of them gave COVID-19 positive results.

The number of RT-PCR investigations could not be ascertained. According to the department, this report will be updated on April 16.

Between April 10 and 15, 2,000 COVID-19 positive cases were reported, according to officials.

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