Around three lakh devotees took a dip in the Ganga in Prayagraj on Saturday in connection with Makar Sankranti despite the coronavirus threat.
The Magh Mela area has been witnessing the arrival of devotees since morning and around three lakh people, including children and the elderly, had taken bath in the river by 2 pm, an official of the annual religious event said.
On Friday, around 6.5 lakh people took a holy dip in the river in Prayagraj on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
Around 1,25,000 masks were distributed in the Mela area till 12 noon on Saturday, the official said, adding that awareness about compliance of the coronavirus protocol is being spread through 25 Covid help desks.
Holding the event amid rising number of coronavirus cases has emerged as a major challenge before the fair administration. In fact, many on-duty police personnel were found infected with Covid-19 even before the start of the fair.
The Prayagraj district administration has already announced that it will be mandatory for visitors to the fair area to come with a negative RT-PCR report, not older than 48 hours. They are also expected to mandatorily carry certificates of both doses of vaccination and maintain Covid-appropriate behaviour.
The Mela administration has divided the fair area into five sectors. Five pontoon bridges have been erected so that devotees staying in more than 3,200 institutions and camps in all these sectors can have an easy access to 12 bathing ghats in the Mela area.
Two 50-bed hospitals, named Ganga and Triveni, 12 health camps and 10 treatment centres have also been set up in the Mela area.