COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh: Negative RT-PCR report compulsory for devotees before entering Ayodhya temple on Ram Navami

Lucknow: Ayodhya District administration has banned entry of Ram Bhakts on Ram Navami, falling on April 21, without bringing negative Covid-19 report for offering prayers to Lord Ram Lala at the make-shift temple.

The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had held a virtual meeting with top seers of Ayodhya on Tuesday requesting them low-key celebrations in view of spurt in active cases during the second wave of coronavirus in Ayodhya.

The CM has appealed to devotees to celebrate Ram Navami at home instead of holding any congregation in Ayodhya or elsewhere.

The Ayodhya District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha said that the decision was taken in view of a spike in active cases in the temple town. “No one will be allowed to enter Ayodhya on Ram Navami day without bringing a negative RT PCR report no older than 48 hours,” Jha said.

The DM said that if required, boundaries of Ayodhya will be sealed and administration will not allow any religious congregation on Ram Navami.

The district administration is expecting a huge influx of pilgrims on April 21 to celebrate Ram Navami at the birthplace of Lord Ram. The DM said that only five devotees will be allowed at a time to enter the make-shift temple for offering prayers.

The Varanasi Commissioner Deepak Agarwal has also appealed to devotees and foreigners to avoid visiting the holy city till the month end. He hinted that RT PCR negative reports may be made mandatory to enter and stay in Varanasi.

Varanasi is the second district after Lucknow which reported a rapid rise in positive cases. On Wednesday, 828 active cases were reported taking the total number of infected persons to 9607 with 405 deaths.

The Commissioner said that Covid-19 negative report no older than three days has been made mandatory to offer prayers at Baba Kashi Vishwanath temple, Sankatmochan Temple and Annapurna temple.

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Free Press Journal