Amidst the rising fear of the spread of Coronavirus leading to a third wave, the state government of Himachal Pradesh has made it mandatory for all devotees visiting temples from outside the state to either show a RT-PCR negative report or fully vaccinated status. The decision taken by the state government comes in view of the state being a favourite stop for thousands of devotees during the Shravan Ashtmi Navratrasa.
The government order issued by state Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh said that all devotees wanting to visit various religious destinations in the state between August 9 and August 17 will need to produce a fully vaccinated status or a negative RT-PCR report. While ‘fully vaccinated’ status will signify that the beneficiary has been administered with both the doses of Coronavirus vaccine, the RT-PCR negative report must not be older than 72 hours, the government order said. The top bureaucrat of the state further said that the decision has been taken keeping in mind the safety of people from the probable third wave of Coronavirus.
Singh said that the administration was anticipating the crowd of thousands of devotees at various famous temples of the state and did not want such sites to turn into a super-spreader event. The official also in his order mentioned that the Mela officer and the concerned Police Mela officer who will be posted at these temples will ensure that all temples follow the ‘No Mask No Darshan’ policy.
It is pertinent to note that the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand had cancelled the annual Kanwar Yatra in view of the Coronavirus pandemic this year. The Uttarakhand state from where the mighty river Ganges originates has taken special measures including posting more than 800 police personnel at various border posts of Haridwar to stop Kanwariyas who might attempt to enter the state under false pretext. In a similar decision to the HP government, the Haridwar police is also checking passengers from outside the state and seeking RT-PCR negative reports along with the vaccination status.
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