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Uttarakhand recorded an 1800% increase in COVID-19 cases between 31 March to 24 April, when the Haridwar Mahakumbh was held.The massive congregation likely turned into a super spreader event in the state as Uttarakhand recorded 1.3 lakh COVID-19 cases in over a month , which is over half of the state’s case tally till date.Over 35 lakh people had gathered at Haridwar on 12 April and 13.51 lakh on 14 April.What’s more, the state recorded 1,713 COVID-19 deaths during this time, which is half of the state’s total COVID-19 fatalities since the time the pandemic began in 2020.Uttarakhand with a 24% positivity rate recorded 151 deaths on Thursday and 137 deaths on Friday .

Garima Dasauni, spokesperson of the state Congress blamed the government for risking people’s lives, “The two biggest reasons for the surge in cases and deaths is the untimely Khumbh and the very untimely change of guard which shouldn’t have happened when the CM was holding the post of health minister as well. The new CM hasn’t held any administrative posts before this and his mishandling of the COVID situation started on the day he took over when he announced a grand Khumbh with no restrictions on devotees.”

The last Shahi Snan of Kumbh is scheduled for Tuesday and the authorities have clarified that it would be symbolic.In lieu of the massive surge in coronavirus cases in the state, Uttarakhand Cabinet Minister Subodh Uniyal said, “COVID-19 infection has reached villages of Uttarakhand. The level of transmission despite corona Curfew is a matter of concern. To contain the spread, the government will take a major decision by 10 May.”

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