Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], May 14 (ANI): As many as 31 pilgrims lost their lives since the commencement of the Char Dham Yatra on May 3, said Uttarakhand health official.

The official has cited mountain sickness and other health problems as causes of death.

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"So far 31 pilgrims and one local resident of Badrinath have died in the 12 days since the commencement of the Char Dham Yatra. All of them died due to high blood pressure, heart attack, and mountain sickness," Uttarakhand Director-General Health Dr Shailja Bhatt told ANI.

The DG further informed that the health screening of the pilgrims now is being done at the points created on the travel routes.

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Earlier on Friday, on the instructions of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, the state Health Department started the facility of health screening at the entry and registration site of Char Dham Yatra.

Dr Shailja Bhatt informed, "Health screening of passengers has been started at Rishikesh ISBT registration site. A health screening camp has been set up at Pandukeshwar for the pilgrims of Dobata and Hina and Badrinath Dham on the Yatra route of Yamanotri and Gangotri respectively."

After the health screening, the passengers who are found to have any physical illness, are being advised to rest or go on the journey only after becoming fit for health, she said.

The yatra began with the opening of Gangotri and Yamunotri portals for devotees on May 3, on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya in the presence of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. While Kedarnath re-opened on May 6, the doors of Badrinath opened on May 8. (ANI)

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