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U'khand CM urges pilgrims to consult doctors before undertaking Char Dham Yatra


ANI General News
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has urged pilgrims undertaking Char Dham Yatra to get medical checkups done before embarking on the pilgrimage.
The appeal from Rawat comes at a time when several pilgrims have reportedly died after suffering heart attacks as a result of the pilgrimage.
Speaking to ANI, Rawat, when asked about the precautions to be taken by pilgrims, said it is necessary for one to pay heed to a doctor's advice, but in most cases, religious belief supersedes any health risk.
"The doctors here do medical tests of pilgrims and warn them of the consequences of their travel. But pilgrims want to visit holy places out of their religious belief," he said when asked about the death of 61 pilgrims this year.
"The Kedarnathji shrine is at an altitude of 11,000 feet and it gets difficult for people to get acclimatised. The pilgrims reach Kedarnath shrine from 5,000 feet to 11,000 feet through helicopter. They find themselves at such a high altitude without getting acclimatised. There is a lack of oxygen at this altitude," the Chief Minister noted.
"There are cases when pilgrims after getting a heart attack fail to reach the hospital located within 100 meters. We have made sure that doctors are available and there are people guiding them and providing first aid. We also make use of helicopters for the rescue operation. Pilgrims have a strong belief and they get angry if we ask them to stop," he added.
Meanwhile, a Cardiologist at Fortis Hospital in Dehradun said pilgrims should travel at a constant pace throughout the journey, and emphasised on the need to get their health checked prior to the yatra.
"Whenever a person goes to a high altitude the blood pressure rises and people get affected by high altitude sickness. People should do their journey slowly and not all of a sudden aim to reach the top. Those who are already suffering from lung disease and heart ailment should be more careful. People should also get checkups done at health centres," said Dr Yogendra Singh.
In the past two months, Rawat said as many as 24 lakh pilgrims have reached Uttarakhand o undertake the pilgrimage. "Last year, 28 lakh people visited the state between May and October," he added.
"After further development of road and rail connectivity, the number of tourists will increase and people will also come for adventure. Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are popular adventure destinations among youth," the Chief Minister asserted.

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First Published: Jun 29 2019 | 9:06 AM IST

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