India becomes 2nd-worst-hit country of the COVID-19 pandemic

Tens of thousands of Hindu devotees gathered by the Ganges River for special prayers Monday, many of them flouting social-distancing practices even as a record surge in coronavirus cases pushed India past Brazil as the world’s second-worst-hit country in the world.

The Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism. The faithful congregate in the northern city of Haridwar and take a dip in the waters of the Ganges, which they believe will absolve them of…

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