India Throws Caution To Holy Dip In Uttar Pradesh In Omicron Surge
India–Religion can mar your thinking and so has happened in India where thousands have gone for a holy dip, defying guidelines set against Covid-19 putting themselves and others in front of the firing squad.
A holy dip is considered auspicious to mark the onset of a new season or Makar Sankranti. The dip is taken at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal and considered a huge festival at Sagar Island. Considered a great way to wash away sins, the health departments are dwindling their thumbs wondering how to control the already escalating surge in Delta and Omicron cases in the country.
Masks were gone and people were seen dipping themselves in the chills of winter. This is also a season of viral infections. A large number of devotees were taking a dip in the sacred river where it flows through the eastern state of West Bengal, which is reporting the greatest number of cases in the country after Maharashtra state in the west. In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, thousands of devotees, few wearing masks, thronged the river’s banks in the holy city of Prayagraj.
The only saving grace is that Omicron is not as life threatening as the Delta variant was and therefore recovery at home has become easier. Cases of hospitalization are a few and medical fraternity is not crying out loud. However, it is worth noting that last year, a similar big religious gathering in northern India contributed to a record rise in coronavirus cases. The health ministry has currently reported 264,202 new cases of the coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, taking India’s total tally to 36.58 million. Deaths from COVID-19 rose by 315, with total now at 485,350, the ministry said.