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In 2 weeks of the Char Dham yatra, an average of 3 pilgrims died daily

Dehradun: In the first two weeks of Char Dham yatra, 43 pilgrim deaths have been reported, most of them due to cardiac arrests. According to official data (till May 16), the Kedarnath shrine had recorded the highest of 18 pilgrim deaths, followed by Yamunotri (14), Badrinath (8), and Gangotri (4). 
In the wake of these deaths, the state government asked pilgrims to get their health tests done before undertaking the arduous journey. Now, people have started carrying oxygen cylinders. 
Mallika Joshi, a pilgrim from Hyderabad, told, "We are carrying our own small portable oxygen cylinder for the Kedarnath trek as most people face health difficulties on that stretch. It is my childhood dream to visit Kedarnath."
According to sources, some pilgrim casualties took place in Kedarnath even on Tuesday. The pilgrim rush has also not slowed down at the four revered shrines.
"Despite several warnings, the pilgrim rush hasn't abated, only people are now giving 'mishap declarations' more aggressively and going ahead with the yatra even when declared 'unfit' by health screening staff. We have stepped up screening and increased the availability of oxygen cylinders," said a chief medical officer of Rudraprayag BK Shukla.

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