25 March 2021 5:20 AM GMT
Days after Uttarakhand's Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat publicly announced that pilgrims would not need to bring RT-PCR COVID-19 test report while coming for Kumbh Mela, the Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday (24th March), in effect, made the test mandatory. However, media reports have suggested that the State Government has now issued an official order making it mandatory for...
Days after Uttarakhand's Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat publicly announced that pilgrims would not need to bring RT-PCR COVID-19 test report while coming for Kumbh Mela, the Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday (24th March), in effect, made the test mandatory.
However, media reports have suggested that the State Government has now issued an official order making it mandatory for devotees to bring a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours for attending the forthcoming Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.
The Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma directed the State Government to be vigilant and to ensure that the Mahakumbh mela does not turn into the breeding ground for the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Government's report
Perusing the report submitted by the State Government, the Court observed that there was a dire need to improve the facilities being provided in three different districts (Rishikesh Kumbh area, Tehri Garhwal, and Pauri Garhwal), which covers the Kumbh Mela area.
The Court also noted that the report stated that there are certain common shortcomings which are prevalent in the entire Kumbh Mela area.
The Chief Secretary gave an undertaking that the SOPs issued by the Central Government, and the State Government would be strictly complied with.
He further informed that the State Government would insist that pilgrims coming from every corner of the country, would be required to bring a medical certificate clearly indicating therein that they are not COVID19 positive.
Having gone through the reports submitted by different parties and the affidavit filed by Mr. Deepak Rawat, Meal Adhikari, the Court issued the following directions as under: -
Significantly, the Court also observed,
"Already alarm bells are being rung in some parts of the country, especially from the Southern, that COVID-19 pandemic is again raising its head. Therefore, pandemic continues to be a cause of concern for all of us. Some of the Southern and Northern States, like Rajasthan, have started imposing partial lockdown."
Adding that there is a clear indication that we are again entering the phase where the country will face the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court said,
"This Court directs the State Government to ensure that the SOPs issued by the Central Government and the State Government are implemented in the strictest sense, both in letter and spirit."
The matter has now been posted for further hearing on 31st March 2021.
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