Sabarimala temple reopens for devotees today: Negative RT-PCR report, vaccination proof mandatory
The famous Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa reopened for devotees from Saturday. The Travancore Devaswom Board has announced that the temple will remain open for a period of five days, ie from July 17 to July 21 to conduct the monthly rituals.
As per the guidelines, people wishing to visit the Sabarimala temple will have to provide a complete Covid-19 vaccination certificate or a negative RT-PCR report issued within 48 hours.
A maximum of 5,000 devotees will be allowed to enter the temple of Lord Ayyappa through the online booking system.
Amid the rising Covid infections in Kerala, the state government had asked the administration of major temples in the state to remain closed for the public.
Kerala registered 13,750 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the infection count to 31,30,833 on July 16.
The death toll mounted to 15,155 as 130 more people succumbed to the deadly contagious virus.
Notably, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Thrissur are the most affected districts in Kerala.
Of the total fresh coronavirus cases on July 16, Kozhikode accounted for 1,782 infections, followed by Malappuram 1,763 and Thrissur 1,558.
"Out of those found infected on Friday, 63 reached the state from outside while 12,884 contracted the disease from their contact. The source of infection of 725 are yet to be traced and 78 health workers are also among the infected," Kerala Health Minister Veena George said in a release.
With 10,697 persons recovering from the coronavirus disease, the total number of recoveries increased to 29,93,242.
The Kerala government has decided to ease the lockdown restrictions on July 18, 19 and 20 in view of Bakrid.
"Lockdowns and restrictions will be relaxed on July 18, 19 and 20 in observance of Bakrid. These days, apart from shops selling essential items (groceries, fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, bakery) in the A, B and C categories, permission will be given to open clothing shops, shoe shops, electronics shops, fancy shops and gold shops. They are allowed to stay open until 8 pm," the Pinarayi Vijayan government said in its order.