As India’s COVID number spiral, touching 1.68 lakh on Sunday, a massive gathering at the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar on Monday is a cause for concern with police expressing its inability to enforce the guidelines set by the government. This comes at a time when the country is struggling to contain the COVID numbers as the second wave sweeps through states.

“We are continuously appealing to people to follow COVID appropriate behaviour. But due to the huge crowd, it is practically not possible to issue challans today. It is very difficult to ensure social distance at ghats,” Kumbh Mela IG Sanjay Gunjyal was quoted by ANI as saying.

The IG warned that a stampede-like situation could arise. “A stampede-like situation may arise if we would try to enforce social distancing at ghats so we are unable to enforce social distancing here,” he added.

In a video shared by the news agency, massive crowds could be seen along the banks of the Ganga in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, where people have gathered for the second royal bath of the Kumbh on Monday. Uttarakhand on Saturday reported 1,233 fresh Covid-19 infections, 317 recoveries, and three deaths.

The first bath was held on March 11, the second today (April 12) and the other Shahi Snan (royal bath) days are April 14 and 27 and huge crowds are expected on those days too.