MUMBAI (INDIA): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged devotees to keep a key Hindu festival symbolic as the country confirmed more than 200,000 new COVID-19 infections for the third straight day.
India reported 234,692 COVID-19 infections over the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to nearly 14.5 million, second only to the United States. Deaths in the country from COVID-19 rose by 1,341 to 175,649.
After umpteen devout Hindus gathered thronged along the banks of the Ganges for a religious festival Kumbh Mela, Modi on Saturday emphasised on restraint, saying on Twitter the festival should now be kept “symbolic”.
Responding to Modi’s appeal, one of religious leader Swami Avdheshanand urged devotees to not gather in large numbers.
On Saturday, Modi was scheduled to conduct two election rallies in eastern state of West Bengal where state elections are in progress.
India’s government eased almost all curbs in the beginning of 2021, although many regions have now enforced localised restrictions.