Gangasagar Mela 2022: All devotees to undergo RT-PCR test, drones for Gangasagar bath-Know all arrangements here – Jagran Josh

Gangasagar Mela 2022:The Gangasagar Mela is the biggest fair in Eastern India and witnesses footfall from over lakhs of devotees each year. 
Gangasagar Mela 2022: The Gangasagar Mela was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on January 12, 2022 following strict COVID-19 protocols after receiving approval from the Calcutta High Court. The high court gave a go-ahead to the festival with orders of ensuring Covid norms are followed.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said while inaugurating the festival, “I request everyone including Sadhus to make this Mela (Gangasagar) smaller because COVID is spreading rapidly. I could do whatever I can but Covid, Omicron situation is not in my hands.” The Chief Minister further urged the pilgrims not to overcrowd vehicles to reach Gangasagar Mela, wear double masks, follow COVID norms and cooperate with the administration.
I request everyone including Sadhus to make this Mela (Gangasagar) smaller because COVID is spreading rapidly. I could do whatever I can but Covid, Omicron situation is not in my hands: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee this afternoon pic.twitter.com/JJu5f50qQg

I urge pilgrims not to overcrowd vehicles to reach Gangasagar Mela, wear double masks, follow COVID norms, cooperate with administration: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

The Gangasagar Mela is the biggest fair in Eastern India and witnesses footfall from over lakhs of devotees each year. It is held at Gangasagar in West Bengal. Pilgrims from several states including Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and others have come to attend the yatra by bus and train.
Read more: Omicron Cases in India Today Update – Check State-wise List
The authorities have ensured that a lot of extra preparation is done to host the Gangasagar Mela keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic and rising Covid cases. Let us look at all the precautions taken in the 10 points given below.
1. The authorities have made massive arrangements for COVID management at all entry points including medical screening such as thermal checking and sanitization and rapid antigen tests on all devotees. 
2. Random testing is being done on the devotees to not know whether people are infected or not. Further, continuous checking is being done to ensure if people are double vaccinated or not. 
3. No pilgrim is being allowed to come to the Gangasagar Mela 2022 without vaccination and RT-PCR test. Both water ambulances and air ambulances are at standby on the ground for COVID-infected people. 
4. The authorities have also deployed doctors and volunteers at the mass level and continuous awareness is being done to ensure that everyone is wearing masks.
5. All the activities of the Gangasagar Mela are being monitored from the Mega Control Room using CCTV cameras and drones. An integrated control room has been set up but all the police, civil defence and civil administration officials can also view the CCTV and drone footage. The monitoring is being done from State Secretariat Nabanna at senior officer IG, DG and Chief Secretary level. 
6. A large number of police, civil defence, navy and disaster management teams have been deployed to manage the crowd. Over 15000 police personnel have been deployed to manage the festival in a smooth and safe manner.
7. All arrangements have been made to transport people with the facility of GPRS in buses, vessels and barges because devotees have to cross the ocean to come to the Mela. All the buses arranged to transport the pilgrims are being run at only 50 percent capacity to avoid overcrowding.
8. The Gangasagar Mela 2022 is expected to witness footfall from about 3-4 lakh people and accordingly, the preparations have been done.
9. Heavy drones have been arranged for Gangasagar bath, as people are afraid to go into the water and everyone will be bathed in the Ganges water by drone. The Ganga Aarti has also been organized in a grand manner.
As per multiple media reports, many devotees were seen violating Covid protocols despite such strict Covid protocols. The devotees have been seen roaming around without wearing masks and flouting social distance norms and standing closely in the queue at test centres despite repeated announcements by the police to follow covid protocols. 
Several critics have slammed the decision to hold the Gangasagar Mela amid a sharp rise in Covid cases across the country. One such critic tweeted that we need to learn from our past mistakes. “Schools are closed, funerals and weddings have a limited gathering. Tremendous disruption to public life due to Omicron. Rightfully so. Continuing with unmasked political rallies and “Gangasagar Mela” will be disastrous for people, ” tweeted Bhramar Mukherjee, Professor of Epidemiology. 
We need to learn from our past mistakes.

Schools are closed, funerals and weddings have limited gathering. Tremendous disruption to the public life due to Omicron. Rightfully so.

Continuing with unmasked political rallies and “Gangasagar Mela” will be disastrous for people.

Gangasagar Mela is an annual gathering of pilgrims during Makar Sakranti at West Bengal’s Sagar Island. The mela witnesses several rituals including Ganga arti around the Sagar island. This year, the Gangasagar Mela began on January 9, 2022. 
 
 
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