Soon after States gave nod for Kawad Yatra and Rath Yatra, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has stated that such religious gatherings could turn out to be super-spreader events, triggering the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to reports, The IMA sounded a word of caution saying at a time when Uttar Pradesh has permitted the Kawad Yatra from July 26, while Uttarakhand was discussing with other states on allowing pilgrims to enter the hill state. The Rath Yatra also began in Puri in Odisha and Ahmedabad.
“Opening up these rituals and enabling people without vaccination to go scot-free in these mass gatherings are potential super spreaders for the Covid third wave,” the IMA said.
However, there is no Haj pilgrimage from India this year too. Saudi Arabia decided not to permit any pilgrims from other countries in view of the COVID-19 spread. Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had said that India will abide by the Saudi Arabia’s decision on conducting Haj 2021.
The doctors’ association also warned the governments on allowing tourists to popular destinations saying such permissions can wait for a few months as global evidence suggested that third wave was imminent and inevitable.
“Tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervour, all are needed, but can wait for a few more months,” the IMA said.
The IMA said it was painful to note that in this crucial time, when everyone needed to work for the mitigation of the third wave, in many parts of the country, both governments and the public were complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following Covid protocols.