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Coronavirus | Lingaraj Temple closed for general public

Devotees stand in the queue as they enter inside the Lord Lingaraj temple for puja rituals. File.   | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has restricted public entry into the 11th century Lingaraj Temple after four sevayats (priests) tested positive for coronavirus.

“In view of detection of substantial number of COVID-19 positive cases among the sevayats of Lord Shree Lingaraj Temple and in larger public interest and with a view to contain the further spread of virus, the public entry to the Shree Lingaraj Temple is restricted inside the temple until further order,” said the Corporation here on Sunday.

The temple administration will ensure that rituals are conducted by the sevayats only. The Ashokastami car festival will be conducted without the mass participation of devotees.

Lingaraj Temple is the second most visited temple by devotees in Odisha after Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri.

The Jagannath Temple is to remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays, while no decision has been taken on the total closure of the temple.

The capital city of Bhubaneswar has been reporting a high number of COVID-19 positive cases for the past one week now. On Sunday, 338 new cases were detected. The total number of active cases in Bhubaneswar stood at 2,527, which is more than 10% of the State’s active cases.

On average, 2,000 tests are conducted in Bhubaneswar every day. Since April 14, the daily spike in cases has been found to be well above 300. The test positivity rate hovers around 15% in Bhubaneswar. On Saturday, 451 persons had tested positive in Bhubaneswar.

Odisha’s COVID-19 tally increased to 3,68,258 following 3,662 positive cases reported on Sunday.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 1:57:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-lingaraj-temple-closed-for-general-public/article34351522.ece

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