Coronavirus in Rajasthan: Larger temples in the state not keen on opening

Jaipur

The Rajasthan government has given a green signal for opening of religious places from September 7. The government has asked them to ensure adequate social distancing and sanitisation in view of the COVID-19 situation. However, larger temples have said they would not open their doors to the devotees yet.

The smaller temples have decided to open and have assured the government about abiding by the guidelines. They have also decided that they would ensure safety measures like limited entry.

The larger temples, however, have decided that they would not open to the public until the pandemic situation gets better. This is because they expect a heavy rush when they reopen. The management of these temples has said that they would not open temples until they complete trials for safety protocols have been done. "We will not open the temple on September 7. The Moti Dungri temple is highly revered and it has a huge number of devotees. We are in the process of working out a detailed plan to ensure social distancing and sanitisation. We have ordered sanitisation machines from Hyderabad and they will arrive soon. It has been decided that a mock run for the safety system will be carried out and only after that we hope to open the temple on September 18," said Mahant Kailash Sharma of the revered Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple in Jaipur. The temple has, however, been using technology to maintain connection with its devotees. It had also provided live darshan links all through the Ganpati festival.

Meanwhile, the medical fraternity is looking at the government decision to open the temples with scepticism. 'This is an incorrect decision. The rising numbers indicate that another lockdown should be imposed. This is not the time to create more spaces for people to interact and transmit infection. This is the time to stay safe and stay at home," said Dr Lila Vyas, senior gynaecologist.

The number of cases are constantly on the rise in Rajasthan. The state now has 85,379 positive cases. A total of 1095 people have died.

Meanwhile, portals of the Hemkund Sahib, a famous Sikh shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand, were opened for devotees on Friday with the first batch of over 120 pilgrims attending the ceremony.

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