Hustle bustle returns, long queues of devotees in masks as places of worship reopen across India
Long queues returned to religious sites and places of worships as temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches, among others, opened gates to public after more than a couple of months of lockdown.
While devotees showed up in a large number at various places of worship across the country, social distancing norms were seen in practice along with other preventive measures. Only those who wear masks are allowed inside the premises to offer their prayers. Offerings like prasad and garlands are not allowed.
Diljeet Kaur, a devotee who visited Old Delhi’s Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib today said, “We’re not allowed to enter without wearing masks and they’re checking the temperature of people at entry. Social distancing is being followed”.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also offered prayers at the famous Gorakhnath Temple today.
The administration of various places of worship have put elaborate measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “We have made adequate arrangements for sanitation. If somebody doesn’t have a mask, we will provide him at the gate. We will maintain social distancing. Offerings like “prasad” and garlands are not allowed,” Subhash Goyal, secretary at Delhi’s Gauri Shankar Temple said.
Many sites have disinfectant tunnels in place to ensure that the devotees are completely disinfected before entering the premises. Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurudwara is one of them.
Some of the most famous places of worship across the country reopened today including Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The state government, however, has barred pilgrims from outside from visiting. Some cities like Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh has deferred opening of shines to June 10. Shrines in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal and Indore, two major Covid-19 hotspots in the state, will also not open their doors for devotees for now.
The Central government, in its guidelines issued last week on ‘Unlock 1’, stated that all places of worship that open up will have to ensure social distancing in place, sanitisation and thermal screening of devotees at regular intervals. No more than five people will be allowed inside at a time, while footwear cannot be clustered together. The guidelines also specifically mention that only asymptomatic people will be allowed inside.
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