For the primary time for the reason that coronavirus outbreak, Kerala’s Sabarimala temple has reopened at present. However, devotees will solely be allowed to enter the shrine from Saturday with strict Covid security protocol in place.
The well-known hill shrine devoted to Lord Ayyappa has been opened for the five-day month-to-month worship. The predominant pilgrim season, which drew hundreds of devotees each day earlier than the pandemic, begins subsequent month.
According to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, devotees who want to enter the shrine should convey a Covid-negative certificates taken not than 48 hours previous to “darshan”.
Other protocols embody a obligatory health certificates and entry just for individuals between 10-60 years of age. The guidelines add that customary bathing at Pamba river has been discontinued and in a single day keep at base camps of the hill temple can also be not allowed.
As Sabarimala reopens with restrictions on the variety of individuals allowed – solely 250 individuals a day can be permitted – there’s a sense of cautiousness amongst devotees.
Chandra Shekhar, a 32-year-old sound engineer, has by no means missed the annual pilgrimage to Sabarimala within the final 20 years. He is apprehensive about testing optimistic after climbing the hill. “With all the trouble of carrying the irumudi kettu (choices), if we’re checked once more for COVID-19 and check optimistic, we should return the identical manner,” he mentioned.
“I am interested in going to Sabarimala. But because of this Covid testing we are still undecided,” Rajesh, a mechanic, mentioned.
The Sabarimala temple has remained closed since March. The determination to not reopen in June was taken after discussions with the chief priest of the temple, who had written a letter elevating considerations over the growing coronavirus circumstances and the doubtless impression on temple rituals if any devotee exams optimistic.
Kerala just lately witnessed one other surge in COVID-19 circumstances because the state recorded nearly 8,000-10,000 circumstances a day within the final month.