Hundreds of thousands of Hindus are heading to the sacred river Ganges in India these days. They prayed there, despite the persistent coronaccrisis in the country, to wash off their sins.
It is about the most important heyday of Hinduism, the Jar Festival. The government announced earlier that it was too busy to enforce. India is one of the most affected countries by Covid-19 after the United States. For example, Brazil would have already been overtaken in the number of coronas cases.
On Tuesday, more than 161,000 new coronavirus cases were registered. It was the seventh day in a row that more than 100,000 infections had been detected. The official death toll increased by 879 to 171,058.
On Monday, almost a million believers would have immersed themselves in the river. At least a hundred random people received a positive corona result on set up test streets along the Ganges, reports news agency Reuters.
On images it can be seen that the celebrations are not too worried about distance between them, let alone mouthcaps. According to traditional practice, hundreds of thousands of people will enter the water in other places in the country in the next few days.
There are also concerns about political campaigns that have been taking place in various Länder. “There were elections, religious gatherings, opening offices, many traveling people, activities going on, citizens who did not comply with the rules, barely wearing a mouthcap at weddings or in crowded buses and trains,” said the coronaminister of the country in a video conference.
The authorities in India approved the use of the Russian coronavaccin Sputnik-V Tuesday. The Ministry of Health announced that approval has been granted through an emergency procedure.
India, with around 1.4 billion inhabitants, joins dozens of other countries that have paved the way for the use of Sputnik-V. The Russian State Investment Fund has already concluded deals with Indian companies for the production of 852 million doses.
India already put two other coronavaccins into use earlier. These are resources from AstraZeneca and the local company Bharat Biotech. The vaccination campaign started in January and 108 million doses of vaccines have already been administered to Indians. These should be vaccinated twice with current vaccines to be fully protected.