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Coronavirus: Devotees not allowed into Kerala's Sabarimala

The Kerala government on March 20 decided not to allow devotees to Sabarimala Temple in Pathanamthitta district for the annual festival beginning March 29 due to coronavirus spread.

Coronavirus: Devotees not allowed into Kerala's Sabarimala
Bengaluru, First Published Mar 21, 2020, 9:52 AM IST
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Pathanamthitta: The Kerala government on Friday decided not to allow pilgrims to the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, for the annual festival beginning March 29 to curb the coronavirus spread. The Guruvayur Lord Krishna temple at Thrissur will also remain closed for devotees from March 21 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 March 28 for the ten-day festival ending on April 7, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, said in a release.

"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 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 March 21 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, 30 people, including foreign nationals, have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the state.

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