Hundreds of thousands of Indian pilgrims begin packing an island in the Ganges for a vast religious festival as Covid-19 cases surge nationwide, prompting fears of a superspreader event. Officials said they expected as many as three million people, including ash-smeared, dreadlocked ascetics, to take a ritual dip in the holy river on 14 January 2022, the climax of the annual Gangasagar Mela.
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