Headlines October 18, 2020
Sabarimala temple reopens for 5 days
The famous Sabarimala Temple in Kerala has reopened to the public for a five-day monthly pooja – after seven months of closure due to the Covid lockdown.
Devotees have to wear face masks and carry Covid-19 negative certificates.
A maximum of 250 people will be allowed inside the temple every day. As many as 246 registered online on Saturday for a darshan. Only people between 10 and 60 years of age will be allowed to visit.
Strict protocols have been put in place at the famous hill shrine. Special arrangements have also been made for performing rituals.
A compulsory fitness certificate must be carried by devotees and the test must be performed no more than 48 hours before darshan. The bathing tradition at Pamba River has been discontinued and overnight stay at the temple is also not allowed.
“Devotees will not be allowed to take a dip in river Pamba. Instead, shower systems will be arranged at Erumely and Pamba for them to take bath,” said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Kerala, which was praised for its handling of the outbreak in its initial stages, has witnessed a sharp spike in new cases since last month. Over three lakh confirmed cases have been registered in the state since the first case was reported in January.