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Opinion

Mandatory RT-PCR test for pilgrims of Sabarimala from today – sur

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Devotees visiting Lord Ayyappa Hill Shrine in Sabarimala will have to carry a negative Covid-19 certificate with them after undergoing an RT-PCR test, the Kerala High Court and the state government ordered. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, has also said that the RT-PCR test certificate, taken no more than 48 hours before your visit to the temple, is mandatory for pilgrims as of December 26. .

“The negative Covid-19 certificate after an RT-PCR test, taken no more than 48 hours before your visit to the temple, is essential for pilgrims to visit the sanctuary. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to go on the pilgrimage, ”said N Vasu, president of TDB, in a statement.

The recent High Court directive has also raised the number of pilgrims allowed daily to 5,000. In view of the increase in the number of pilgrims allowed in the sanctuary on the hill, the state Department of Health has intensified antigen testing in Sabarimala.

The TDB, however, limited to 100 the number of people who participated in the three-day procession that the Thiruvabharanam led to be adorned with the idol of Lord Ayyappa during the Makaravilakku ceremony. Receptions to the procession at various points on the way to Sabarimala have been canceled, TDB said.

The temple will be closed after Mandala Puja on December 26 and will reopen for Makaravilakku pooja on December 31. This is the first annual season of pilgrimages to the temple on the hill after the coronavirus outbreak.

Meanwhile, more than 5,000 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Kerala on Friday, including 46 healthcare workers, and the test’s positivity rate reached 11.4%. The death toll rose to 2,930 and 16 deaths were added to the count. With this, the number of Covid-19 cases in the state amounted to 7,32,084 and total recoveries reached 6,64,951.

(with contributions from the agency)

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