Kumbh Mela returnees will distribute coronavirus as ‘prasad’, says BMC Mayor Kishori Pednekar


NEW DELHI: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday (April 17) gave a controversial remark after she stated that those returning from Kumbh Mela to their respective states will distribute Corona as ‘prasad’. 

She stated that all the Kumbh returnees should be quarantined in their respective states at their own cost. “In Mumbai also, we’re thinking of putting them under quarantine on their return,” she stated.

Her comments came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the ongoing Kumbh in Haridwar should now have symbolic participation due to the COVID-19 crisis. Modi tweeted that he spoke to Swami Avdheshanand Giri of Juna Akhara over telephone and enquired about the health of saints, many of whom have contracted the infection, and also conveyed his appreciation for their cooperation with the local administration.

Responding to Modi’s call, Avdheshanand urged people to not come to the Kumbh mela for bathing in large numbers due to the COVID-19 situation and to follow the rules. Saving one’s and other’s lives is sacred, he added.

Pednekar also said that 95 per cent of Mumbaikars are adhering to COVID-19 guidelines while the remaining 5 per cent who are not following the curbs are causing problems to others. She further added, “I think a complete lockdown should be imposed looking at the current COVID-19 situation.”

A Hindu seer reportedly lost his life after COVID-19 infection and nearly 100 other holy men have tested positive after attending a vast Indian religious festival where millions of pilgrims have been ignoring COVID-19 advice despite a national surge in infections.

India reported 2,34,692 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the biggest single-day spike ever, taking the overall tally to 14,526,609 cases on Saturday, according to the Health Ministry data.

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