Over 2 lakh pilgrims visited Sagar Island from Dec 25: Min

Over 2 lakh pilgrims visited Sagar Island from Dec 25: Min

Sagar Island: The number of Ganga Sagar pilgrims has significantly dropped this year due to COVID- 19 pandemic despite stellar arrangements made by the Mamata Banerjee-led Bengal government.

"Over 2 lakh pilgrims have come to the Sagar Island from December 25 till date," said state Panchayats and Rural Development minister Subrata Mukherjee, while taking stock of the arrangements along with state Fire and Emergency Services minister Sujit Bose, state Public Works Department minister Aroop Biswas and South 24-Parganas District Magistrate P Ulaganathan on Tuesday. Last year, 50 lakh pilgrims took a holy dip at Gangasagar Mela.

The South 24-Parganas administration has devised Covid management plan.

About 1.5 lakh pilgrims have been medically screened at 13 identified entry points. Rapid Antigen Tests have been done on 14, 810 persons, out of which only 5 tested Covid positive. Random samples of about 2173 persons, who had taken holy dip or visited Kapil Muni temple were drawn, of which none of the pilgrims were found Covid positive.

E- snan – door step delivery of holy Ganga Jal and Kapil Muni mandir Prasad— is being arranged through courier service. Seven Covid hospitals, 8 safe homes, 11 Quarantine centres and 5 SARI isolation centres are operational. E- snan counters have also been set up at 5 locations in Ganga Sagar beach, Harwood bus stand (Kakdwip) and Outram Ghat (Kolkata). E-Darshan is being done through social media.

As many as 100 ambulances, 3 water ambulances, 2 air ambulances and 5 Quick Response Teams have been deployed for Sagar Mela. Webel has been given the responsibility to

provide deployment of Drone services during the Ganga Sagar Mela. "Today, 2 severely ill patients were airlifted by the air ambulance to Howrah," said Ulaganathan. Around 2 lakh cloth bags have been distributed among pilgrims to prevent use of plastics.

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