'Can’t ask pilgrims not to attend Ram Navmi Mela', says Mahant Nrityagopal Das amidst coronavirus pandemic
(PTI Photo)

The Indian Council of Medical Research on Friday morning said that the total number of positive cases of coronavirus in India rose to 206.

However, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Mahant Nrityagopal Das, the head of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, has said that he cannot ask pilgrims to not to attend the Ram Navmi Mela in Uttar Pardesh's Ayodhya, which is to be held on March 24. He added that it is the responsibility of the government to make people aware of the threat. "Can’t ask pilgrims not to attend Sanatan mela on the river. It’s the govt responsibility to make people aware of corona threat,” he said.

Ramkot Parikrama, which is held on the eve of Navratri and Nav Samvatsar, a day before Ram Navami Mela, has been cancelled. This decision was taken by Vikramaditya Mahotsav Samiti. Mahant Rajkumar Das of Vikramaditya Mahotsav Nyas Samiti said that people can worship from their home. He said, "Corona is an epidemic. Pilgrims can worship at home this time, Parikrama/mela comes every year.”

Vishva Hindu Parishad's Sharad Sharma said that the decision on Ram Navmi Mela has not been made yet. However, he said that Mahant Nrityagopal Das should urge the people not to attend the festival.

Earlier, Chief Medical Officer of Ayodhya Ghanshyam Singh had advised that the Ram Navami mela be cancelled to save the public from coronavirus.

Dr Vikasendu Agrawal, nodal officer of coronavirus, said mass gatherings are impossible and risky once the Epidemic Act is invoked.

Meanwhile, 10,048 deaths have been registered worldwide, while 246,005 people have been infected by the deadly pandemic.

(Inputs from Kanchan Srivastava)

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