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Coronavirus | In rare move, Odisha government restricts access to Puri Jagannath temple from March 20

Visitors at the Shree Jagannath temple at Puri in Odisha.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

The Odisha government has shut down the 12th century Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri for devotees from March 20 till April 1— a rare event in the hundreds of years of the temple’s history.

“The Puri district administration has restricted access of general public to Jagannath Temple from tomorrow. In this spirit, the State government has instructed religious institutions, including temples, mosques and churches, to enforce similar restrictions,” said Subroto Bagchi, chief spokesperson for Odisha’s fight against COVID-19, here on Thursday.

Also read: Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India | State Helpline numbers for COVID-19

Mr. Bagchi said essential rituals of all religious institutions would continue as usual.

For the past few days, the Puri district administration has been trying to restrict the entry of tourists to Puri by vacating places of tourist interest.

The government has suspended all examinations, and evaluation of papers of the already held examinations, indefinitely.

Samples tested

As of now, 61 blood and swab samples have been tested, of which 60 were found to be negative. As many as 23 persons who may be infected are under observation in various hospitals.

Shifting its focus from urban areas to rural pockets, the Odisha government is holding emergency meetings at the gram panchayat level. Currently, 2.37 lakh members of 6,798 gram panchayats have been sensitised, and 7,176 temporary medical camps have been established.

Also read: Coronavirus | Are diabetics more prone to COVID-19?

According to the State government, 3,183 isolation beds, including over 2,150 beds in Cuttack, have been created in the State. As many as 94 hotels having quarantine facilities for coronavirus-affected patients have been identified.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation on Wednesday came out with a list of three hotels that were offering rooms for quarantine on payment. More such hotels would be identified, officials said.

Work from home

Group C and D category government employees have been asked to work from home on rotational basis. Departmental heads are taking a call on deploying employees based on requirement.

Watch | Soap or sanitiser? Which works better?

The government is also allowing employees to take 14 days leave if they show symptoms of flu.

Meanwhile, 2,626 persons who have returned from 104 countries have registered for home quarantine.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 7:38:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-in-rare-move-odisha-government-restricts-access-to-puri-jagannath-temple-from-march-20/article31113969.ece

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