Tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims have gathered in the northern Indian city of Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) for a festival amid a massive surge in Covid-19 infections.

Devotees believe that bathing in the river Ganges during the Makar Sankranti festival would cleanse their sins.

A similar gathering had contributed to India’s deadly second wave last year.

But the authorities in Uttar Pradesh state, where Prayagraj is located, have refused to ban this year’s event.

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