Muzaffarpur: Devotees, this year, will have to give their visit to Bihar's Garibnath temple a miss during the holy month of Shravan, as the century-old shrine, which reopened on June 1, has decided to shut its doors again from July, amid the spurt in COVID-19 cases.

Lakhs of people from across the country visit the temple every year to offer 'jal-abhishek' to Lord Shiva during the Shravan festival.

"The decision was taken in the larger interest of common people. COVID-19 cases have surfaced around the temple area, too," chief priest Vinay Pathak said.

All rituals will be performed at the shrine by the priests, while strictly adhering to the guidelines laid down to stop the spread of COVID-19, he said.

"Trustees of Garibnath temple have unanimously decided to shut its doors from July 1 to avoid the rush of devotees. We are praying to God to end the pandemic at the earliest," Pathak said.