Coronavirus | Butterfly conservatory in Srirangam sees a dip in visitors

Visitors wearing masks awaiting their turn to buy tickets at the entrance of the Tropical Butterfly Conservatory in Srirangam on Sunday.  

There was a sharp decline in the number of visitors to the Tropical Butterfly Conservatory in Srirangam, a popular tourist spot, on Saturday and Sunday what with COVID-19 cases rising sharply in Tiruchi district over the past few days.

Safety protocols were being strictly adhered to prior to allowing visitors into the lush green 27-hectare conservatory sandwiched between the Cauvery river and the Coleroon river, said a Forest Department official.

The conservatory which remained shut for nearly eight months since mid-March last year in the wake of the pandemic was re-opened on November 12. Although the footfalls were initially less, it began to gradually increase. The number of tourists who visited the conservatory post re-opening on November 12 till date was over 68,000.

However, the footfalls began to decline sharply on weekends from early this month when the number of COVID-19 cases began to increase. The footfall on April 3 (Saturday) was around 620 which further dropped to 415 on April 10. The scenario was the same on two preceding Sundays. The number of tourists who visited the conservatory on April 4 was around 900 and the footfall dipped further to a little over 600 on April 11. Only on March 28 (Sunday), there were a little over 1,000 visitors.

The sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in Tiruchi district coupled with the fear of getting infected and the recent restrictions announced has caused a decline in visitor footfall to the conservatory, says the official. Thermal screening of every visitor was being done at the entrance where markings have been made to maintain personal distancing while buying tickets, the official added.

Field-level personnel of the Forest Department deployed inside the conservatory advise the visitors to maintain personal distancing and wear masks inside the sprawling conservatory, the official further said adding that masks were stocked at the counter for visitors coming without covering their face.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 5:37:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/butterfly-conservatory-sees-a-dip-in-visitors/article34296318.ece

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