New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday (April 17) declared that all devotees returning to the state from Haridwar Kumbh Mela will have to undergo a mandatory RT-PCR test before they are allowed to enter their respective cities and villages. 

In order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the already severely affected state, the Gujarat CM said that no Kumbh returnee will be allowed to enter their respective places without taking an RT-PCR test. 

“Collectors of all districts in Gujarat have been directed to keep a watch on the Kumbh Mela returnees and enforce a nakabandi’ (security checking) to prevent their entry in their hometowns without undergoing an RT-PCR test,” Rupani told reports in Jamnagar.

Those found infected will be isolated for 14 days, Rupani added. “Collectors of all the districts have been directed to identify the Kumbh returnees,” the BJP leader informed. 

Earlier, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in a Cabinet meeting discussed that pilgrims coming back from the Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand should be monitored and subjected to COVID-19 testing. 

At the Kumbh Mela, total of 1,701 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Haridwar Kumbh Mela from April 10 to 14. Many seers have tested positive for COVID-19 the medical office at Haridwar said.

As many as 68 seers have tested positive for COVID-19 between April 5 to 14, including Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri, who is admitted at the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh.

Meanwhile, addressing the shortage of hospital beds in cities and the difficulties faced by people, Rupani said 10,000 more beds will be added in the next 15 days.

Gujarat on Friday added the biggest single-day rise with 8,920 new coronavirus positive, taking the tally to 3,84,688. 94 patients succumbed to the infection which raised the death toll to 5,170, as per the state health department.

(With inputs from agencies)

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