Dehradun: In the wake of the rising cases of coronavirus, the Uttarakhand government on Thursday suspended Char Dham Yatra this year in the state. Issuing an order, Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said only priests of the four temples will perform rituals and puja this year. The state government had earlier given its green signal to hold the annual Char Dham Yatra from May 14.Also Read - Tomato Flu: 26 Cases Detected In Odisha | All You Need To Know About This Disease

In this regard, the state government had already started preparation with all COVID guidelines in place. The Uttarakhand government had made negative RT-PCR test reports mandatory, among other guidelines for devotees. The four pilgrimage sites are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri in Uttarakhand. Also Read - Employees Back to Office, But More Than 70% of TCS Techies Likely to Work From Home Till The End of 2022. Deets Here

“We have made negative RT-PCR reports mandatory for Char Dham Yatra to ensure that the infection does not spread. The Yatra is a matter of faith and we are committed to provide every facility to the pilgrims from all over the world, “Uttarakhand’s Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj had earlier told Indian Express. Also Read - India Detects Another Omicron Sub-variant BA.5, NRI on Gujarat Visit Tests Positive For Virus

The Uttarakhand government was also likely to limit the number of pilgrims in a particular shrine on a day. Last year, it was 800 for Kedarnath shrine, 1,200 for Badrinath, 600 for Gangotri and 400 for Yamunotri.

The move to suspend the Char Dham Yatra comes at a time when Uttarakhand recorded the highest single-day spike of 6,054 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the tally to 1,68,616, while 108 deaths pushed the toll to 2,417.

Dehradun district accounted for the maximum number of 2,329 cases, followed by Haridwar, which reported 1,178 cases, Udham Singh Nagar 849, Nainital 665, Chamoli 175,Pauri 174 Champawat 153, Almora 140, Bageshwar 128 and Tehri 109, a state health department bulletin said.