Tinsukia: At least 16 persons returning from the Maha Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar tested positive for COVID-19 at Mariani railway station in Assam‘s Jorhat district on Monday, sources said.

According to sources, 16 of 24 persons who tested positive in Mariani on Monday are devotees who returned from the religious congregation.

Talking to this correspondent, Jorhat deputy commissioner Roshani A Korati said, “We have reports of nine persons who returned from Haridwar by Rajdhani Express testing positive for COVID-19.”

“According to reports given to me, these nine persons travelled together to Manab Dharma Ashram at Prem Nagar in Haridwar and were retuning to their respective districts from Delhi by Rajdhani Express. They tested positive at Mariani railway station,” Korati said, adding, “They, however, said they did not go to Kumbh Mela.”

The development came at a time when several states have reported COVID-19 cases among returnees from the religious congregation and the country is in the grip of a second wave of the novel coronavirus. Many renowned health experts have already suggested to cancel election rallies and religious events like Kumbh Mela in the light of the surge in infection cases.

Also read: Assam residents take to Twitter over ‘shortage’ of COVID-19 vaccines

Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which devotees gather to bathe in a sacred river.

On Monday, Assam registered its highest single-day infections from COVID-19 this year. Altogether, 1,367 fresh cases were detected out of 65,410 tests carried out across the state.

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