What pandemic? As UP govt lifts COVID-19 curbs, devotees flock to temples in Ayodhya

Even as daily COVID-19 cases in India fell below the one lakh mark for the first time in over two months, Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday undertook a relaxation of lockdown rules. The Yogi Adityanath government has completely lifted the day curfew in all the 75 districts. Curfew restrictions will however continue to be in place from 7 pm to 7 am.

Soon after the announcement however, visuals from Ayodhya seemed to indicate that things might be moving in an unfortunate direction. Visuals shared by news agency ANI show a large number of devotees arriving at Ayodhya's Hanuman Garhi temple after the restrictions were lifted.

Photos from the area show a massive number of people packed together in close proximity, with no seeming regard for the pandemic or the concept of social distancing. To make matters worse, a significant number of people do not seem to be wearing masks. Others still have their masks perched atop their chins and mouths.

Other parts of the state however appears to be keeping the pandemic firmly in mind as they reopen. In Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath Temple for example, devotees are being welcomed into the temple with a slew of rules as well as precautionary measures such as distance of two yards.

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Free Press Journal