The Covid-19 cases in Bihar are expected to surge rapidly as social distancing norms and other precautionary measures like wearing of masks were blatantly disregarded by the women devotees who came out of their homes in large numbers to perform “Vat-Savitri” festival. Bihar is already being regarded as the next trouble state as far as Covid-19 is concerned as its last eightday average growth rate was recorded to be 10.32 per cent with a doubling time of less than seven days.
The national doubling time of Covid-19 cases is 13.45 days right now. Despite an MHA-mandated ban on any kind of religious gatherings to contain the spread of the virus, lakhs of women devotees, across the state, congregated around banyan trees around their vicinity to pray for the long lives of their husbands.
According to the locals, there were a lot of jostling as women devotees, disregarding fear of Covid-19, pushed each other to circumvent around banyan trees after offering water to it. The festival is celebrated across Bihar to honour Savitri, who according to folklores, compelled Lord Yama, the lord of death, to return the life of her husband Satyawan.
Visuals on various media and social media platforms bore testament to the complete disregard for social distancing norms as women were seen congregating at close space to pray for the lives of their husbands while ignoring the social distancing rules. The state is likely to see a major increase in number of Covid cases as 15 lakh migrant workers are expected to return to Bihar by the end of this month from across the country.