Tamil Nadu

Curbs back in temples amid COVID-19 surge

Looming threat: Temple managements have been asked to enforce strict personal distancing.   | Photo Credit: SRINIVASAN KV

With the sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the State, the State government has reintroduced restrictions in temples for the safety of devotees and employees.

Devotees will be allowed only up to a certain point inside the temple, in queues while maintaining adequate physical distancing. No archanais will be performed and prasadam and theertham (holy water) will not be distributed.

The HR and CE Department issued a circular to this effect on Friday to all temples asking them to ensure enforcement of standard operatring procedures, including wearing of masks, frequent use of hand sanitisers, restricting entry of children aged below 10, elders above 60 and pregnant women.

“Temple officials have been instructed to consult with health officials of respective local bodies and take necessary precautions. This is pertinent, especially in temples where the Panguni festival is under way,” said an official.

Major temples have made arrangements for mobile vaccination points where devotees can use their Aadhaar cards and get free vaccination.

Temple fest

Meanwhile, at the Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore, where the annual Panguni festival is on, officials have put in place all these protocols. “We are arranging for masks to be distributed to those not wearing them. The temple is being disinfected at least thrice a day. We are checking temperature of devotees and have arranged to send those with fever to the nearby Corporation dispensary. We have a mobile vaccination van stationed near the Eastern Gopuram,” said a temple source.

The temple has urged the various trusts and organisations not to distribute food or buttermilk on streets, including the four Mada streets, Kutcheri Road and Ramakrishna Mutt Road since it could lead to crowding. On March 25, devotees will not be allowed to clamber up the temple car to have a darshan of the deities.

Webcast on YouTube

Kapaleeswarar temple authorities have made arrangements for live telecast of important events on the temple YouTube channel, including Adhikara Nandhi on Sunday morning, Rishaba Vahanam on March 23, car festival on March 25, Arubathi Moovar festival on March 26 and Tirukalyanam on March 28. Last year, due to lockdown restrictions, the rituals related to the festival were held inside the temple with devotees not being allowed.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 10:17:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/restrictions-back-in-temples-amid-surge-in-covid-19-cases/article34121180.ece

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