Home News Amid record number of people visiting Char Dham, 201 pilgrims died in less than 60 days

Amid record number of people visiting Char Dham, 201 pilgrims died in less than 60 days

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Amid record number of people visiting Char Dham, 201 pilgrims died in less than 60 days

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Over 200 pilgrim deaths have been reported by the Uttarakhand health department in less than 60 days since the start of the Char Dham yatra. The predominant causes of deaths are medical aliments among elderly pilgrims, it added.

With the onset of  monsoon, officials have advised pilgrims to take extra measures as temperatures dip and helicopter services are suspended owing to heavy rain.

According to data given by the Dehradun state emergency operations centre, 95 pilgrims died on the Kedarnath yatra route, 51 in Badrinath Dham, 13 in Gangotri, and 42 in Yamunotri.

The yatra began on May 3 and is scheduled to end in late October. So far, over 250,000 pilgrims have embarked on the trek, although the numbers have been falling for the past week.

Uttarakhand director general (health), Shailja Bhatt, said, “For the first time, the department has conducted health screening of passengers at nine places and health advisories are being issued regularly through pamphlets and other means. Pilgrims, especially the elderly, are being made aware of the risks in the yatra.”

She further said 12 doctors had been assigned to Char Dham routes. “In the event of an emergency, sick pilgrims are evacuated to higher medical centres via Heli-ambulance.” So far, heart-related illnesses have been the leading cause of death. Pilgrims with a medical history are being encouraged not to continue their trek, and an undertaking is being taken from them if they insist on continuing,” she claimed.

According to Bhatt, 20 temporary health centres have been put up along yatra routes, with 178 extra doctors stationed – a 66 percent increase over the 2019 yatra.

Officials reported that 40 percent of deaths in Kedarnath occurred before Gaurikund, either in hotels or on the route, indicating that cardiac patients were regularly undertaking the trip rather than following their physicians’ recommendations.

According to state official data, 4,308 pilgrims visited the Badrinath shrine on Sunday, bringing the season’s total to 8,58,091. Kedarnath had 4,229 devotees, bringing the total to 8,02,033. Gangotri was visited by 4,229 devotees, for a total of 4,23,272. Yamunotri had 3,435 pilgrims, bringing the total to 3,27,107.

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