COVID-negative proof must for entry as Sabarimala Temple reopens

Around seven months after it was shut in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entryways of Sabarimala temple were open for devotees from Friday, though with specific limitations.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has made it compulsory to carry a COVID-19 negative certificate while visiting the temple, while only 250 people are being allowed for darshan (visit) per day. Adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines, devotees have started thronging the temple.

As per the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), only 250 people will be allowed on a single day and booking will be done on a first-come-first-serve basis. A queue portal for the booking has been opened for the public.

Devotees will ascend and descend through Swami Ayyappan Road, while special marks have been drawn for devotees at Sannidhanam, in accordance with the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

“There will be no accommodation for devotees at Sabarimala. In addition to the regular poojas, Udayasthamana and Padi poojas, however, will be held,” the TDB said.

The TBD added that toilet and bathroom facilities have been set up at Pampa, Nilakkal and Sannidhanam, while sanitisers, soap and water have been arranged at various points.

A total of 7,283 new COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths were reported in Kerala on Friday, taking the total number of active cases to 95,008 in the state. So far, 2,28,998 people have recovered in the state. The total COVID-19 death toll in the state is 1,113 so far.

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