The district authorities in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun on Friday restricted the number of tourists in Mussoorie’s Kempty Falls to 50, a day after a video emerged of a crowd bathing at the popular spot without observing any Covid-19 protocols, ANI reported.
In the undated video, which went viral on social media, people were seen standing dangerously close together. No one was wearing a mask.
District Magistrate Iva Ashish Srivastava told ANI that tourists will be allowed to stop at the waterfall for only 30 minutes. “A check-post will be set up to monitor the tourists,” she added. An airhorn will alert tourists about the exit time, she said, according to News18.
Tourists have begun travelling to hill stations in huge numbers despite repeated warnings about the onset of the third wave of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, the Uttarakhand High Court had directed the state government to review its decision to relax Covid-19 restrictions. The court expressed concern about the influx of tourists into the state.
A day before that, the Centre took note of crowding at hill stations and warned that it will re-introduce Covid-19 curbs. “People are indulging in revenge travel with restrictions being lifted,” Lav Agarwal, health ministry joint secretary, had said. “The infection is still very much present. If people do not wear masks and [do] not maintain physical distancing, it could nullify all the gains we have made so far in terms of Covid management.”
Balram Bhargava, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research, said photos showing crowds at hill stations were frightening. “We have to be very careful, very responsible and very cautious,” he added.
India has recorded 3,07,52,950 Covid-19 cases since the outbreak of the pandemic in January last year. As many as 4,05,939 patients have died.