Gangasagar Mela: Pilgrims Undergo RT-PCR Tests, Many Seen Without Masks, Flouting Covid Norms

Gangasagar Mela: Pilgrims Undergo RT-PCR Tests, Many Seen Without Masks, Flouting Covid Norms


Following the Calcutta High Court orders to ensure Covid norms are followed, pilgrims attending the Gangasagar Mela were made to take the RT-PCR test at Babu Ghat, instead of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). However, many were still seen violating Covid protocols.

Pilgrims from Bihar, Jharkhand, Odissa, Uttar Pradesh and other states have come to West Bengal for the yatra by bus or trains, and many were seen roaming around without wearing masks and flouting social distance norms.

A pilgrim said, “Mask? Mask can’t cure Corona. There is nothing called Corona. Religion is the only way out to lead a better life.” Another one who rejected mask said, “These are all fools who wear mask.”

Many of them have seen standing closely in queue in the vaccination centre, despite the repeated announcements by police to wear masks.

The HC, after multiple hearings, allowed the religious congregation and ordered that pilgrims must have double vaccine certificate to enter the mela along with a “negative” RTPCR. The tests should be done 72 hours before journey.

The HC formed a two-member committee comprising former Justice Samapti Chatterjee and the member secretary of the West Bengal Legal Services Authority, discarding the committee including Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari.

The members of the committee have already left for Gangasagar and will report to the HC. The court also asked the West Bengal government to declare Sagar Island, where the annual fair is held, as notified area as Covid cases are rising rapidly in the state.

The annual Ganga Sagar Mela, which is held at West Bengal’s Sagar Island during Makar Sakranti, began on January 9.

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