Hasids in Uman / Photo from UNIAN, by Viktor Kovalchuk

"We conducted polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing at the expense of the pilgrims, and 10 pilgrims tested positive for COVID-19. Of them, four had repeat tests and their results turned to be negative, which means they are now considered as the recovered. And six are COVID-19 positive," he said.

Read alsoCOVID-19 lockdown: Hundreds of Hasidim pilgrims amass at Belarus-Ukraine border (Video)

The mayor said the patients with a mild form of the disease had been accommodated in a hotel, which was provided by the Breslov (Bratslav) Hasidic group as a facility for COVID-positive pilgrims. Those with moderate and severe forms of the disease will be hospitalized.

According to the Interior Ministry and the Migration Service, there are 2,500 Hasidic pilgrims in the city, yet, the mayor said he did not know their exact number.

"I can't say exactly how many of them are here now – no one maintains record of them. I have no exact figure. Nobody has counted how many of them are in the town. I use the migration service's data," he said.

Background

  • In 2020, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, will begin on September 18 and will end September 20.
  • Thousands of Hasids come to Uman every year to visit the tomb of their spiritual leader and founder of the Breslov branch of Hasidic Judaism, Rebbe Nachman. However, this year the Ukrainian government has slapped coronavirus travel restrictions on foreigners amid the COVID-19 epidemic.