Visakhapatnam

Coronavirus fear: hotels, malls see fewer visitors on Day One in city

Visitors at a mall in Visakhapatnam on Monday.

Visitors at a mall in Visakhapatnam on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Managements comply with guidelines; trial run held at Simhachalam temple

The response on the first day to the opening of temples, hotels and malls was lukewarm, as threat of COVID-19 continued, on Monday.

All the major temples like Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam and Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi temple at Burujupeta in the Old Town area did not witness many devotees. “It is only a trial run at Simhachalam temple and only employees are allowed,” said an official.

“Today, we have allowed only devotees, living in the areas surrounding the temple. There was only one entrance and the devotees are checked with a thermal gun, social distance markings have been painted. The devotees have to wear masks and produce their Aadhaar cards. They have to wash their feet and sanitise their hands before entering the temple,” Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi temple Executive Officer S. Jyothi Madhavi said.

“There are 972 temples in the district. We are not allowing devotees into the sanctum sanctorum of the temples. Devotees are abiding by our guidelines and wearing masks. Kumkum can be distributed in packets but ‘prasadam’ and ‘theertham’ is not allowed. Devotees are not allowed into temples located in containment zones. Only the daily rituals will be conducted by the priests in those temples,” Assistant Commissioner of Endowments Shanti Kalingir told The Hindu.

The malls were taking all precautions like sanitising their premises, provision of hand sanitiser liquid and ensuring that their customers wore maskes. The CMR Central witnessed moderate crowd on the first day of opening after the lockdown. The customers waited in boxes drawn on the floor outside the mall to get into the premises. The staff cleaned the premises at regular intervals.

Some of the malls were allowing only two persons in their lift and the staff members were also seen instructing the customers not to gather at one place.

“The average crowd at the restaurants is around 15 % and in the rooms it is barely 3% but we are strictly adhering to the guidelines to check the spread of coronavirus like fumigation of rooms, the entire premises, parking area and regular cleaning,” says Prashant, president of the Hotels and Restaurants Association of AP.

“We are providing masks, gloves and headgear to our staff. Only two persons can sit at a table and we are impressing on our guests to stay single in the rooms, except in the case of couples with a kid. The housekeeping staff is also supplied all the safety kits and all this is taking a little more time for service despite the fewer number of guests,” he says.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 5:56:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/coronavirus-fear-hotels-malls-see-fewer-visitors-on-day-one-in-city/article31781987.ece

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