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Kumbh Mela 2021: Uttarakhand government says violators of Covid guidelines will be dealt strictly



The state government of Uttarakhand, which is going to organise the 2021 Kumbh Mela, is pulling out all stops to ensure that the cultural-historical event in Haridwar does not lead to a spike in Coronavirus infections in the country. The state government has warned that people violating the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) at the Kumbh Mela will be prosecuted under relevant provisions. The concern over the rise of Coronavirus infections is particularly relevant not only for the people of the state but for the whole country as pilgrims and tourists visit the Kumbh Mela not only from all parts of the country but also from abroad.

Chief Secretary of the state Om Prakash was quoted as saying by ANI that all people who violate the Covid-19 SOP at the Kumbh Mela at Haridwar will be prosecuted. Detailing the procedure to be followed by the pilgrims and tourists willing to visit the Mela, Prakash said that all people will have to register in advance for the visit online. Pilgrims will also need to upload their medical fitness certificate and RT-PCR Covid-19 negative test report at the time of their registration. Prakash further said the RT-PCR Covid-19 negative test report should not be older than 72 hours.

After fulfilling all the registration formalities, a special e-pass will be issued by the state government portal which will facilitate their travel to the Kumbh Mela, the top bureaucrat of the state said. The Kumbh Mela in the state’s holy city of Haridwar is going to be held this year after a gap of 11 long years. Apart from being a religious event which registers the footfall of many hermits, saints from across the country, the Kumbh Mela also tops the itinerary of foreign tourists who are amazed by the sheer presence of lakhs of people taking dip in the holy Ganges. The last Kumbh Mela held in the state was in the year 2010 and had seen the congregation of more than 1.5 crore pilgrims and tourists from across the country and world.


‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Peaky Blinders’ star Helen McCory dies due to cancer



British film, television and stage actress Helen McCrory has died aged 52 from cancer, her husband and fellow actor Damian Lewis said on Thursday. McCrory “died peacefully at home surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family”, Lewis wrote on Twitter, calling his late wife “beautiful and mighty”.

“We love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly,” the actor added, explaining she had died “after a heroic battle with cancer”.McCrory was best known as a star of the hit BBC crime drama ‘Peaky Blinders’ and for the role of Narcissa Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” films, as the mother of the boy wizard’s school-aged rival.

She played Cherie Blair, the wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, twice in both the “The Queen” (2006) and “The Special Relationship” (2010), and played fictional British interior minister Clair Dowar in the James Bond film “Skyfall” (2012).

Born in Paddington in west London in 1968 to a Welsh mother and Scottish-born father, McCrory was the eldest of three children. She attended school in southeast England and spent a year living in Italy before studying acting at London’s Drama Centre.

A lengthy acting career followed, which saw her play a multitude of roles on the small and big screen, as well as on stage. McCrory and Lewis, who starred in the US TV series Homeland, married in 2007. The pair met performing in the Shakespeare play “Much Ado About Nothing” as comedic protagonists Beatrice and Benedick.


In 2011, she told the Independent newspaper she had eschewed celebrity but was honoured to have played such interesting roles. An actor’s job, she said, was to “reassure the audience that life, as muddled and as wonderful as it is, is worth living”.

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