COVID-19 Spike: Puri Jagannath Temple To Remain Closed Till This Date

Puri: Taking note of the alarming rise in COVID-19, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Saturday said that the 12th-century shrine will remain closed till May 15.

A decision to this effect was taken by the SJTA after a virtual meeting with the sevayat bodies.

Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, chief administrator of SJTA Krishan Kumar said keeping in mind the upward trend of the second wave of COVID-19, it was decided that the temple will remain closed for the darshan of the Lords by the devotees till May 15. However, the daily rituals of the Lords will be performed by the sevayats.

He further said regular screening and testing of the sevayats and their families and the temple officials will be taken up to detect COVID-19 cases and provide treatment.

Kumar also said COVID Care Centre (CCC) made operational at Niladri Bhakt Niwas will be strengthened as per requirement and a constant review of the same will be taken up.

In order to ensure proper treatment of the COVID patients, he said arrangements will be made for seamless shifting of serious cases to Bhubaneswar. The Administrator (Development) will act as nodal officer for the purpose. “Arrangements are being made at the SUM and other COVID hospitals in the Capital City in this regard,” he added.

Stating that the temple administration will continue its awareness programmes to popularise the use of masks, sanitisers and physical distancing, Kumar said the focus of the vaccination will be on those engaged in daily rituals of the Lords as well as those involved in construction of the chariots. Apart from this, the SJTA will take advance steps for procurement of masks and sanitisers for use during Chandan Yatra, Snana Yatra and Rath Yatra.

On the schedule for construction of the three chariots, he said all preparations will continue as per traditions. The temple administration will again review the evolving situation on May 5, he added.

Among others, Puri collector Samarth Verma, SP Kanwar Vishal Singh and temple officials attended the virtual meeting.

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