Puri: Shree Jagannath Temple here will be reopened for devotees from August 16 with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols. The Temple remained closed for devotees since May 5 due to the outbreak of the pandemic.
After remaining closed for more than three months in wake of the COVID-19 second wave, the much-awaited ”darshan” of the sibling deities – Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath will began amid strict adherence to the COVID-19 guidelines.
On the first five days (August 16 to 20), only Puri citizens including family members of servitors will be allowed to enter the temple for darshan from 7 AM to 8 PM with strict adherence to COVID-19 norms, Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Dr Krishan Kumar told reporters after holding a meeting with Chatisa Nijog this evening.
In view of weekend shutdown in the Holy town, the temple will remain closed for devotees on August 21 and 22. From August 23, all devotees will be allowed to have ”darshan” of the sibling deities, he said.
RTPCR negative report obtained within 96 hours or final vaccination certificate (after receiving two doses) is mandatory to enter into the temple, Dr Kumar said.
He said devotes are allowed entry into the temple after proper checking of identity proof, hand sanitisation and mandatory wearing of face masks.
During the weekend shutdown, the temple will remain closed for devotees and the temple premises will be fully sanitized as it is being done now, he said, adding, the temple will also remain closed for public darshan on the occasion of Janmashtami (August 30).
However, devotees will not be allowed to have Mahaprasad in the temple premises now and offerings of flowers, tulsi (basil leaves) and other such items inside the temple, as per Government guidelines.
All other restrictions imposed by the State Government will be enforced for the devotees, the Chief Administrator said. The situation will be again reviewed after one month and accordingly, further steps will be taken, he stated.
Covid testing of all servitors and officials of SJTA & district administration will again be done for three days from August 8. A door-to-door campaign will also be launched to ensure two doses of vaccination of servitors and their families, he added.