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India’s Harnaaz Sandhu crowned Miss Universe 2021

India’s Harnaaz Sandhu was named Miss Universe on Monday (December 13) in the Israeli resort town of Eilat during a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the international pageant.

Sandhu, who reached the final alongside Miss Paraguay, burst into tears as she was announced the new Miss Universe.

Sandhu urged people around the world to get vaccinated to help keep the borders open.

Israel hosted the contest in the Red Sea resort of Eilat amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and after imposing travel restrictions to try to stave off the Omicron coronavirus variant. Israel’s tourism ministry said that travel restrictions limited media and fan attendance at the pageant.

In the weeks leading up to the competition, contestants toured various sites in Israel, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Judaism’s Western Wall and the Dead Sea.

(Production: Hannah Confino, Lee Marzel)

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