Instead of preparing for the health emergencies the ruling government had diverted its attention where thousands of people were gathering for the election rallies and bathing in the Kumbh Mela.
These series of political rallies saw thousands of people gathering in parts of West Bengal state. People also stood in long queues to cast their votes in the sixth phase of the state elections, a day after West Bengal recorded more 10,000 new cases of Covid-19.
Honestly, it was heartbreaking to see the scene for the state that stood in contrast to the rest of India. All of us were struggling with family members getting affected from COVID, While the country was worried about the possibility of another lockdown and politicians and administrators were seen urging people to maintain social distancing, in West Bengal political parties were urging people to gather in large numbers and show their support.
What is even more surprising was Indian Railways had organised 25 special trains on these three days from various locations straight to Haridwar for the pilgrims. Around 35 lakh pilgrims gathered at the bank of river Ganga to take the holy dip in Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. The government had earlier said that only people with Covid negative reports would be allowed at the festival and strict measures like social distancing would be followed.
Although according to numbers 1700 people tested positive but this was amongst the 2 lakh tests conducted whereas more than 35 lakh people had gathered there. Out of which all were also not RT pcr tests but also rapid antigen tests whose accuracy is much lower.
The argument could also be that the Kumbh Mela festival was given permission to take place because the government wanted to hide its gatherings to conduct the political rallies as Kumbh and its numbers would cover that up easily.