COVID-19: RT-PCR negative report made mandatory for devotees in Ayodhya, Varanasi

Express News Service
LUCKNOW: Ayodhya District administration has made it mandatory for the devotees wanting to visit the Ram Janmabhoomi on Ram Navmi to have RT-PCR negative reports.

Banning the entry of Ram Bhakts on Ram Navami, falling on April 21, without negative Covid-19 report, Ayodhya DM Anuj Jha said that if required, boundaries of Ayodhya would be sealed and no religious congregations will be allowed on Ram Navami.

However, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a virtual meeting with the top Mahants, saints  and seers of Ayodhya on Tuesday requesting them to keep the Ram Navmi celebrations a low-key affair in the wake of the strong surge in COIVD-19 cases in the temple town. The CM has appealed to devotees to celebrate Ram Navami at home instead of holding any congregation in Ayodhya or elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the Ayodhya district administration is expecting a huge influx of pilgrims on April 21 to celebrate Ram Navami at the birthplace of Lord Ram. The DM, however, claimed that in compliance with state government orders, only five devotees would be allowed at a time to enter the make-shift temple for offering prayers.

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Similarly, the Varanasi Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agarwal has also appealed to devotees and foreigners to avoid visiting the holy city till the month end. He also hinted that RT PCR negative reports may be made mandatory to enter and stay in Varanasi.

Varanasi is among the top five districts of the state reporting a rapid rise in positive cases. On Wednesday, 828 active cases were reported taking the total number of infected persons to 9607 with 405 deaths. The Commissioner said that Covid-19 negative report no older than three days has been made mandatory to offer prayers at Baba Kashi Vishwanath temple, Sankatmochan Temple and Annapurna temple.