Puri, April 24: Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri will remain closed for public darshan till May 15 in view of the upward trend of the second wave of the COVID-19.
Decision to this effect was taken in a high level meeting chaired by Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar. Senior sevayats, district Collector Samarth Verma, SP Dr Kanwar Vishal Singh and temple officials attended the meeting.
It was decided to review the evolving situation again on May 6 before taking further decision.
“The grave challenge posed by #COVID19 was discussed in detail. All were of the unanimous view that necessary steps must be taken to ensure continuity of age-old traditions of Niti-Kanti ( rituals) of Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha,” tweeted the SJTA.
“For same, ensuring the health of Sevayats, who do daily Seva-puja of Mahaprabhu is of utmost importance. Further, rituals related to Ratha Yatra will begin from Akashya Tritiya day on May 15. Any spread of COVID 19 amongst Sevayat Families will be detrimental to observance of ensuing Festivals,” SJTA further wrote.
As per the decisions, regular screening and testing for Sevayat Families and Temple Officials will be taken up to ensure that cases of COVID-19 amongst them are detected at an early date and are provided effective treatment.
The COVID care center was made operational at Niladri Bhakt Niwas will be further strengthened as per requirement. Constant review of the same will be taken up.
Arrangements for shifting of serious cases for treatment to Bhubaneswar will be ensured seamlessly. Administrator – Development will act as Nodal Officer from Temple Administration side. Arrangements are being made at SUM and other Hospitals in Bhubaneswar.
Awareness programmes will continue to popularise the use of Masks, Sanitisers, Physical Distancing while focus for vaccination will be on those who are involved in daily Seva-Puja of the Mahaprabhu and also those involved in the construction of Rath.
All preparations for construction of chariots will continue as per traditions.