Puri’s Srimandir To Remain Shut Once A Week

Keeping in mind the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, Odisha has decided to restrict the entry of devotees inside Srimandir in Jagannath Temple at Puri once every week. This day of closure will be utilised to sanitize the temple premises. The weekly closure day will be notified soon by the temple administration.

A discussion regarding this issue took place at the Chhatisa Nijog meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar and was marked by the presence of notable personalities including Collector Samarth Verma, SP Kanwar Vishal Singh and the Nijog members.

A green signal was also given by the SJTA to hold rituals of Agniutsav at the shrine on March 27 and Dola Purnima on March 28. However, the proceedings will take place amid strict Covid-19 protocols enforced at the premises of the Jagannath Temple. People violating the guidelines and not wearing masks at the gatherings will be fined.

Notably, the holy shrine reopened for devotees in January after remaining shut for most of 2020. Only those who produce a Covid-19 negative certificate were initially allowed inside the temple.

The fear of a second wave of Covid-19 has also forced the Odisha government to reconsider physical classes taking place in schools and colleges. The state government is contemplating announcing a pause in physical classes from April 1.

“Courses of the students will be completed in schools by April 1 after which revision will start and the department is mulling to focus more on online classes during this period. Only those having doubts will be asked to visit school campus to attend doubt clearing sessions,” said School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash.

This sudden alarm has stemmed from the recent surge in Covid-19 cases witnessed at two private higher education institutes in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

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