Fake News

Kumbh Mela IG claims only 1954 tested positive in Haridwar during Kumbh, official data says otherwise

Written by Vamc Vadranam

While many experts believe Kumbh Mela turned out as a super-spreader event, Sanjay Gunjyal, Inspector General of Kumbh Mela said it is unfair to call the event a super-spreader. Speaking to PTI, Gunjyal said ”If we scientifically analyze the Covid data of Haridwar district right from January 1 to the conclusion of Kumbh on April 30, attempts to create a perception that Kumbh was a super-spreader of the pandemic look unfair”. Gunjyal claimed 8.91 lakh RT-PCR tests were conducted from January 1 to April 30 in the district and only 1,954 (0.2%) returned positive, and out of 16,000 police personnel deployed for Kumbh Mela, only 88 (0.5%) tested positive.

The Khumb Mela was held between April 1- 30, and the three main days of Kumbh or the Shani Snan were held on April 12, 14 and 27. The Indian Railways have organized 25 special trains to transport pilgrims to Haridwar on those three days. Around 35 lakhs devotees have attended the Kumbh Snan. The Uttarakhand High Court made it mandatory for all the pilgrims to carry negative RT-PCR test reports.

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However, the official data from the state government website proves IG Sanjay Gunjyal’s statement wrong. According to the data from Dept. of Medical Health and Family Welfare, Uttarakhand, in a total of 9,41,595 tests sent to the laboratory from January 1 – April 30, 19, 071 returned positive, which is nearly 10 times more than what Gunjyal claimed.

Source: Health Bulletin, Government of Uttarakhand

On April 1, the first day of Kumbh Mela, Haridwar recorded 149 positive cases on April 1,  on April 23, 1,115 cases were recorded, and on last Shani Snan day, i.e., April 27, Haridwar recorded 1024 positive cases.

In another instance, Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar while speaking to India Today on April 12, said, “Let me tell you, we have been following COVID protocol since the last many days regularly but on such a peek day following the COVID protocol 100% is not easily possible But we have tried to follow it as much as possible. Secondly, I will tell you another big data. Yesterday we tested around 53,000 persons in Haridwar out of which the positivity rate is only 1.5%” . However, this turns out to be incorrect too. According to official data, 24,357 tests were conducted on April 11 and 386 returned positive.


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About the author

Vamc Vadranam

Information & Communication Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, FactChecker, Coffee Lover, Continuous Learner.

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