Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday slammed the pilgrims returning from Haridwar’s Kumbh Mela, saying that they will distribute coronavirus as “prasad” in their respective states. She added that the returnees from the religious festival should be quarantined at their own cost.

Also read: We go by rituals not government guidelines: Juna Akhada as COVID cases peak

“Those returning from Kumbh Mela to their respective states will distribute Corona as ‘prasad’. All these people should be quarantined in their respective states at their own cost. In Mumbai also, we’re thinking of putting them under quarantine on their return,” the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation mayor was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Pednekar also told ANI that 95% of citizens in Mumbai are adhering to the COVID-19 protocols and the remaining 5%, who are not following restrictions, are getting other people in trouble. “I think a complete lockdown should be imposed looking at the current COVID-19 situation,” she said.

Earlier on Saturday, Swami Avdheshanand Giri of Juna Akhara announced the end of Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, just hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s request to keep the religious event “symbolic” amid an unprecedented surge in the COVID-19 cases across the country.

“The people of India and their safety is our priority. Keeping in mind the raging coronavirus pandemic, we have traditionally performed the visarjan of all Gods. This is the end of Kumbh from Juna Akhada,” the seer tweeted in Hindi.

Hundreds of devotees, including top saints, have tested positive for COVID-19 in the temple town of Haridwar, where huge crowds have gathered to participate in the Kumbh Mela

Meanwhile, India recorded 234,692 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, its highest daily spike yet, of which 2,402 were reported from Uttarakhand.