Hyderabad: For the devotees, darshan at their favourite temples will not be same again even as the State government gears up to reopen them from June 8 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The authorities have decided to keep the services to the minimum and avoid a few rituals, besides allowing only limited number of devotees (with prior registration for some temples) per day. The popular temples in the State – Yadadri and Vemulawada – have put in place several measures to ensure physical distancing and hygiene among pilgrims.
Endowments Minister A Indrakaran Reddy on Friday reviewed the arrangements for reopening various temples for people in the State and instructed the officials to take all safety precautions as per the guidelines of the Central and State governments. He reiterated that no temples in containment zones will be allowed to reopen. Further, people aged over 65, children under 10 years and persons with COVID-19 symptoms are strictly advised against visiting temples to avoid spread of the pandemic.
As per the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) to be followed at the temples, the authorities concerned have been instructed to ensure proper queues with boxes marked to ensure physical distancing between devotees. Besides making sanitisers available in special stands to be erected at the temple entrances, they were directed to clean the temple premises with sodium hypochloride solution at regular intervals. While wearing masks is mandatory for devotees, they will also have to undergo thermal screening at the entrances.
Services such as bathing in Pushkarini, Shatagopam, serving theertham/ prasadam inside the temple besides accommodation will not be available for devotees. Entry into the sanctum sanctorum is strictly prohibited. However, prasadam can be purchased by devotees from the sales counters located outside the temples. Devotees can make prior arrangements through online registration for major temples in the State.
Endowments Commissioner Anil Kumar and other officials attended the meeting.
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