The Indian state of Uttarakhand has asked the central government to introduce a COVID-19 insurance cover for the pilgrims visiting the state for the forthcoming Kumbh Mela, the most sacred pilgrimage of the Hindus.
The Kumbh mela is scheduled to begin in Haridwar district of Uttarakhand from 1 January 2021 and will continue until April 2021.
Introduction of a Kumbh mela COVID-19 insurance which attracts a large number of foreign tourists is expected to revive the tourism-backed economy of the state which has been crippled due to COVID-19 related lockdowns and social distancing.
Uttarakhand tourism and culture minister Satpal Maharaj in a letter to the federal minister of state for culture and tourism Prahlad Singh Patel said, “To reduce the fear of the pandemic among the foreign tourists and attract them to visit India and assure them of safety, the introduction of a COVID-19 tourist insurance policy appears necessary.”
Mr Maharaj said that such an insurance policy should also be introduced for domestic and foreign pilgrims visiting Haridwar.