Hundreds of people have tested positive for coronavirus in India at the site of the world’s biggest religious festival, officials said Wednesday, as huge crowds of mostly maskless Hindu devotees descended on the River Ganges.
The virus was detected in more than 1,000 people in just 48 hours in the city of Haridwar, which lies along the holy river where the Kumbh Mela is being observed, officials said.
A new wave of coronavirus infections is sweeping across India, with experts blaming massive religious events, packed political rallies in poll-bound states and crowded public places.
The government on Wednesday postponed high school exams for 15 to 18-year-olds, which were to be held in May-June, amid the resurgence of the virus.
Despite rising virus cases, pilgrims have gathered in huge numbers to take part in the holy celebration.
On Monday and Tuesday, a huge crowd of worshippers were cheek by jowl as they packed the river’s banks to take a dip in the waters as part of a bathing ritual.
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