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Coronavirus outbreak: Dalai Lama suspends meeting visitors

A counselling centre has been set up at the primary health centre in McLeodganj to facilitate the foreign visitors
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Dharamshala, Dharamshala
PUBLISHED ON FEB 02, 2020 10:29 PM IST

In view of the coronavirus outbreak, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has temporarily suspended meeting visitors, specially those from China mainland.

The 84-year-old spiritual leader’s office has not been taking audience request from public since last week.

“The public audience of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, will not be entertained for some time, considering the emergency declared by World Health Organisation and precautionary measures that most of the health institutions and government are taking in wake of coronavirus outbreak,” secretary of the department of information and international relations, Central Tibetan Administration, Tsewang Gyalpo Arya, said.

Directions issued to devotees, monasteries

Arya also said that the Dalai Lama’s office has issued a directive, advising Buddhist devotees and monasteries to recite listed prayers and mantras so that the sufferings of people affected by the coronavirus are healed at the earliest.

The spiritual leader meets public every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the meetings’ schedule is finalised by his office. Special teaching sessions are held on requests from devotees from South East Asian countries. Earlier, a group of Chinese Buddhists from China had sought his advice on ways to contain the spread of coronavirus. Following this, he shared a voice clip of himself chanting ‘Tara’ mantra.

Meanwhile, the state health department has sounded high alert for Dharamshala and McLeodganj against the coronavirus, given a large number of devotees, including those from China, visit the hill town. A counselling centre has been set up at the primary health centre in McLeodganj to facilitate the foreign visitors.

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