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Dilip Kumar

Puri: Two days after the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) announced closure of the shrine for the devotees temporarily, the district administration has restricted entry of devotees into other religious institutions in the town till May 15 due to rising trend in the Covid-19 positive cases in the district.

All temples, mutts, mosques, and churches will remain closed for devotees till May 15 due to pandemic crisis, Puri sub-collector Bhabataran Sahoo said.

However, all the daily rituals will be conducted as usual at the places of worship with the help of priests, he added.

The next decision on reopening of the religious places will be taken after May 15 keeping in view the Covid-19 situation.

Earlier on Saturday, SJTA chief administrator Krishan Kumar announced to close the shrine for the devotees following a virtual meeting Chhattisha Nijoga, temple officials, Puri Collector and SP.

The temple chief administrator said the spread of the virus among servitors and family members would be detrimental to the upcoming major festivals of Lord Jagannath like Chandan Jatra, Snana Jatra, Aksjya Tritiya. So, the temple should remain out of bounds for the pilgrims.

Similarly, the district administration had also banned Swargadwar for outsiders due to mounting cases of Covid-19.  Dead bodies from the district only would be allowed for cremation only in the case of non-covid deaths.

The relatives will have to produce relevant documents before cremation, the Sub-collector said. Similar restrictions have also been imposed in the matter of Asthi Visarjan (Ash Immersion) in Mahodadhi.

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