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Odisha’s Jagannath Temple to stay closed till June 15

The decision to keep Jagannath temple closed was decided at a review meeting chaired by SJTA Chief Administrator Dr Krishan Kumar and attended by Collector Samarth Verma

Bhubaneswar, May 17: The Jagannath Temple authorities in Puri announced that the temple would remain out of bounds for the public till June 15.

The Shree Jagannatha Temple Administration made the decision to keep the temple closed for people till June 15 at a review meeting chaired by SJTA Chief Administrator Dr Krishan Kumar and attended by Puri Collector Samarth Verma.

The decision was taken keeping in view the surge of COVID-19 cases in Odisha and also in Puri.

It was also decided at the meeting to review the standard operating procedure from time to time, keeping in view the evolving situation.

Rules and regulations

Though members of the temple will not be allowed to enter the temple, all the age-old rituals of the deities continue with the help of servitors and the temple administration officials, Kumar said.

The spread of COVID-19 among the servitors during these times will be detrimental to the observance of daily rituals and annual programmes.

Odisha Covid numbers

Odisha’s COVID-19 caseload on Sunday surged to 6,12,224 after 11,732 more people tested positive for the infection, while 19 fresh fatalities pushed the death toll to 2,313, a health department official said.

Meanwhile, the Chandan Yatra (sandalwood festival) began on Saturday, adhering to COVID-19 protocols. Construction of chariots for the Rath Yatra begins from the day of the Chandan Yatra.

All the participants of the Chandan Yatra have undergone COVID-19 tests while the carpenters and others associated with chariot construction will be kept in isolation till completion of the works, an official said.

Team NewsFile