At a time when precautions are being observed by the government of India to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country, Haridwar presents a challenging situation for the authorities. The pilgrimage city is visited by multitudes everyday and many gather on the banks of the Ganga and various shrines to undertake religious rituals and pay obeisance to deities. Apart from the visitors from various parts of India, a number of foreigners also visit this pilgrimage town. In order to ensure that any of the visitors, especially those from abroad do not bring the coronavirus with them, the authorities in Haridwar are keeping an eye on the visitors from foreign countries. The Haridwar chief medical officer of Haridwar, Dr Saroj Naithani had earlier sought a list of the foreigners visiting Haridwar from the district tourism officer. The health department was provided a list of 14 foreigners visiting Haridwar and lodged in various hotels in the city. The guests from abroad are from countries including Canada, New Zealand, Fiji anmd Australia among others. After getting their details, the health department officials checked all the foreign visitors and found them to be healthy without any symptoms of the coronavirus.
The chief medical officer informed The Pioneer that acting on the list provided by the state administration, all the foreigners in the district had been screened and were found to be healthy. The department also checked the local residents who had returned from abroad and all of them were found to be healthy. When asked about the ritual dips being taken in the Ganga by locals and pilgrims, Dr Naithani said that this being a religious custom, the health department cannot take any decision about it. Any decision regarding such gatherings has to be taken by the district authorities, she added.
Monday, 09 March 2020 | PNS | Haridwar
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