Lingaraj Temple shut; Covid-negative report, vax certificate must for entering Puri temple

Bhubaneswar, Apr 18 (PTI) The famed Lingaraj Temple Was declared closed by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Sunday after several servitors were found to be COVID-positive.
In an order, the civic body said that it will, however, ensure that the shrine of Lord Shiva is opened for usual rituals with only servitors being allowed to enter.
Lord’s Ashokastami ‘car festival’ will be observed by the temple administration as per the protocol, it said.
Bhubaneswar on Sunday reported 338 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 35,679. Of them, 32,881 people have already recovered.
As many as 250 patients have so far died of COVID-19 in the city, while the state capital at present has 2,527 active cases.
In a statement, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik called upon the people to beat the surge in COVID-19 cases by wearing masks, thereby avoiding the need for a lockdown.
A little negligence can be dangerous to society as a whole, he said.
Meanwhile, a massive disinfection drive was carried out at the Jagannath Temple in Puri during the day.
Fire Services personnel and Puri Municipality staff were engaged in the sanitisation of the temple complex, barricades, shoe stands and mobile stands near the Lion’s Gate, officials said.
The temple administration said that a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will come into force from Monday for entering the complex.
As per the SOP, people coming from outside Puri will have to carry an RT-PCR negative report or complete vaccination certificate for entry to the temple. The report should not be more than four days old.

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