COVID-19: Entry in Sabarimala Banned for 10-day Annual Fest
The Guruvayur Lord Krishna temple at Thrissur will also remain closed for devotees from 21 March.
The Kerala government on Friday, 20 March, decided not to allow pilgrims to the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district for the annual festival beginning on 29 March to check the coronavirus spread.
The Guruvayur Lord Krishna temple at Thrissur will remain closed for devotees from 21 March until further notice, officials said.
"Both the temples will continue their rituals and poojas but will remain closed to devotees," they said.
The hilltop shrine will be opened from 28 March for the ten-day festival ending on 7 April, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, said in a release.
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“The decision was taken after the district collector, who is also the district Disaster Management Authority chairman, submitted a report suggesting restricting the devotees from visiting Sabarimala temple due to the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the country,” the release said.
Till now there are at least nine positive cases of COVID-19 in Pathanamthitta district, according to officials.
Guruvayur temple sources on Friday said it will not allow devotees inside the temple from 21 March as part of the government's instructions to restrict devotees to prevent spreading of COVID-19.
“Rituals and poojas will continue inside the shrine. Wedding ceremonies, choroonu ceremony (feeding rice for the first time to a baby) and ‘udayasthamana’ pooja has been cancelled until further notice,” a Guruvayur temple official told PTI.
As per the latest reports, at least 37 people, including foreign nationals, have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the state.
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