As per the latest developments, tourists aged over 50 and suffering from any ailments will now be required to get their health checkups done to go to Char Dham Yatra.
This move comes after an expert committee was constituted to assess the number of deaths in the recent yatra period.
The Uttarakhand State Health Secretary Radhika Jha informed that the panel has suggested that elderly people and those suffering from serious ailments should travel only after getting their health check-ups done.
As per the committee, more than 60% of people who died suffered from other ailments which were serious in nature. They also suggested that people should get acclimatised at a particular location before proceeding further.
The minister also said that the health checkups for all pilgrims aged above 50 will also be done on the yatra route and those deemed unfit will be asked to return. At present over 87 people have been asked to return.
The Health Secretary also added that an air ambulance service is being provided for the first time to ensure quick medical aid is provided to pilgrims, whereas an adequate supply of oxygen is also available at all medical units.
Additionally, for the first time specialist doctors have been posted in major hospitals on the yatra route to provide proper treatment for tourists suffering from a heart ailment.
Char Dham shrines are located in high altitude areas, and often pilgrims with comorbidities face health hazards after getting exposed to extreme cold conditions.
Those who have suffered from COVID also need to be cautious while undertaking the pilgrimage as the high altitude terrain can lead to a lack of oxygen, resulting in breathing issues as well as cardiac arrest in some cases.