In view of the massive gathering of pilgrims on the banks of Ganga River for Kumbh Mela, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday issued an appeal that the mega Kumbh Mela is “observed in a symbolic way” amid the grim situation arising out of the coronavirus crisis.

The PM stressed that it will give a boost to the fight against the pandemic.

There have been reports that a seer has died from COVID-19 and several others have tested positive for coronavirus after attending the festival.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “आचार्य महामंडलेश्वर पूज्य स्वामी अवधेशानंद गिरि जी से आज फोन पर बात की। सभी संतों के स्वास्थ्य का हाल जाना। सभी संतगण प्रशासन को हर प्रकार का सहयोग कर रहे हैं। मैंने इसके लिए संत जगत का आभार व्यक्त किया। (I spoke to His Holiness Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Pujya Swami Awadheshanand Giri ji on the phone today. Enquired about the health of all the saints. All the saints are giving all kinds of support to the administration. I am extremely grateful to and thanked the saint community)

मैंने प्रार्थना की है कि दो शाही स्नान हो चुके हैं और अब कुंभ को कोरोना के संकट के चलते प्रतीकात्मक ही रखा जाए। इससे इस संकट से लड़ाई को एक ताकत मिलेगी। (It is my prayer that two Shahi Snan have taken place and that the Kumbh should be kept symbolic due to the Corona crisis. This will strengthen our fight against this crisis).