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PM Modi reviews Covid-19 situation in Uttarakhand, speaks to CM Rawat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke to Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat to review the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation in the state. PM Modi also assured all help to the state which is battling a deadly surge in cases after the Kumbh Mela which was attended by 9.1 million in the months of March and April.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up for an update on Covid cases in Uttarakhand. I apprised him with the present situation,” Rawat said in a tweet.

Uttarakhand has been crossing grim milestones by recording over 7,000 cases for the past seven days. A total of 8,390 people tested positive for the infection on Saturday in the state while 118 more people succumbed to it.

The state government last month postponed the pilgrimage to four of the holiest Hindu shrines (Char Dham Yatra), scheduled to start on May 14.

The Kumbh Mela had raised eyebrows of many experts who criticised the government for organising such a big event at a time when Covid-19 is raging across the country.

The experts said that religious gatherings like these were among the reasons for the worst surge of Covid-19 infections in the country. The second wave of the pandemic has pushed the death toll in the country over 200,000 and starved hospitals of life-saving medical oxygen and beds.

The issue of negligence is slated to be heard in the Supreme Court on Monday after a Public Interest Litigation has been filed by Noida-based Advocate-on-Record (AOR), Sanjai Kumar Pathak, seeking directions for strict enforcement of Covid-19 pandemic guidelines and for action against all those who had allegedly violated protocols during assembly elections in several states and the Kumbh Mela.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, and also comprising justices Nageshwar Rao and Ravindra Bhat will hear the petition filed by the advocate Pathak who filed the plea on April 16.

India is caught in the highest surge of Covid-19 since the onset of the Covid pandemic, but visuals had surfaced of lakhs of devotees crowding in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, for Kumbh Mela and in the election rallies in states, ignoring the most basic of Covid-19 protocols, Pathak said in his petition.

Even though the disease is currently spreading at breakneck speed across the country, the Indian railways had organised 25 special trains to facilitate congregation and to link Haridwar Kumbh Mela to various locations for the pilgrims as per certain media report, the plea read further.

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