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India's Ganges river sees crowds of devotees for holy bath despite COVID-19 surge

CA, 15 Jan 2022
Large crowds of Hindu worshippers gathered on the banks of India's Ganges river on Friday for a 'holy bath' despite a surge in COVID-19 cases over the past month.

"People are standing here on the banks of the river and roaming without any masks. Nobody is following the guidelines. Announcements are being made to urge people to wear masks. What can the government do?" A devotee said.

Meanwhile, in Gangasagar, authorities used drones to give 'holy baths' as thousands of devotees gathered ahead of the Hindu festival of 'Makar Sankranti', hoping to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The festival going ahead this weekend in the state of West Bengal is expected to attract almost one million visitors.

On Friday, the health ministry reported 264,202 new cases of the coronavirus in the previous 24 hours.

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