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The Uttar Pradesh government has cancelled the Ganga Snan Mela (fair) due to rise in COVID-19 cases.

The state government has imposed Section 144 in the area, which prohibits public movement and assembling of four or more people.

The Uttar Pradesh government decided to cancel the annual Ganga Snan Mela (fair) and Deepdan festival at Garhmukteshwar in Hapur district and at Hastinapur in Meerut district. The same was announced on Nov 24, according to a Hindustan Times report. The decision came as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country is rising at an alarming rate.

The Mela (fair) was scheduled to start in Garhmukteshwar on Nov 25 and in Hastinapur on Nov 27. During the event, thousands of devotees from Delhi, nearby districts of western UP, Haryana, and Rajasthan arrive for ritual bathing on the banks of the river Ganga on Kartik Purnima and offer Deepdan for the salvation of their ancestors.

Additional superintendent of police, Hapur, Sarvesh Mishra told Hindustan Times that Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code had been imposed in the area. Section 144 prohibits the gathering of four or more people in an area. It also prohibits public movement.

The total number of cases in Uttar Pradesh are 529,000. The state has so far witnessed over 7,500 deaths due to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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