Four more pilgrims die in Kedarnath; death toll climbs to 41

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Dehradun/Rudraprayag, May 26: The death toll of pilgrims coming on ‘Char Dham yatra’ continues to rise as four more people succumbed to the in hospitable climate of Kedarnath on Thursday.

All four deceased were over 60 years of age, said Rudraprayag Chief Medical Officer BK Shukla.

They were identified as Nandu, 65, from Nalanda in Bihar, Haridwar Tiwari, 62, from Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh, Ram Narayan Tripathi, 65, from Lucknow, and Hemraj Soni, 61, from Bara in Rajasthan.

With these deaths, the number of pilgrims dying in Kedarnath in the ongoing pilgrimage season rose to 41.

If 13 deaths reported from Badrinath and 24 deaths reported from Yamunotri and Gangotri till Wednesday evening are added to it the number climbs to 78.

Kedarnath has accounted for the highest number of pilgrim deaths this season. Yamunotri has reported 20 deaths and Gangotri four.

Health screening of pilgrims aged above 50 years has been made mandatory before they embark on the uphill trek to the Himalayan temples.

Elderly pilgrims are being advised by authorities not to undertake the arduous journey if they have COVID history or are suffering from post-COVID complications such as breathlessness, as oxygen level drops at high altitude.

A record 10 lakh pilgrims have visited the Himalayan temples in less than one month since the start of the yatra on May 3.

With COVID restrictions no longer in force the temples are witnessing an unprecedented rush of pilgrims.

Online and offline registration slots for Chardham yatra are already full till June 7.–(Agencies)