Coronavirus outbreak: Pilgrims heading to Shirdi Saibaba temple, pay attention! After Mumbai’s famous Siddhivinayak temple, now the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi is set to close temple for devotees from noon (3 PM) today till further orders, ANI reported on Tuesday morning. The above mentioned Trust is the authorised body to manage and supervise the day-to-day activities and facilities of the samadhi temple. Be it accommodation in the premises, free meals to hundreds and thousands of pilgrims, drinking water supply and more, the Sansthan Trust in Shirdi is the governing administrative body that also runs schools, colleges and hospitals in Shirdi.
Other most frequented shrines in the country have also announced precautionary measures to pilgrims. For instance, the Siddhivinayak temple had instructed all employees to use hand sanitizers and masks. Those pilgrims visiting the shrine were also provided with hand sanitizers once they were inside. ANI reported that the chairman of Siddhivinayak Temple Trust had stated that all railings are being cleaned inside the temple every 30 minutes as a precautionary measure. Officials had also stated that the Tulja Bhavani temple in Osmanabad district would be closed till further notice.
Historical sites are also being shut. For instance, Ajanta and Ellora caves near Aurangabad have been closed.
Those with COVID-19 symptoms should avoid visiting, Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam had cautioned in repeated press statements. Further, to minimize the risk of person-to-person contact, the TTD has introduced specific time token slots so that pilgrims do not have to be waiting in serpentine queues or in ‘Vaikuntam’ compartments as is the norm on ordinary days.
This time, the TTD authorities have issued strict guidelines that only a limited number of pilgrims would be admitted and that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms would be referred to a hospital nearby and not allowed to go in for darshan.
Since the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak as a ‘pandemic’, temples and places of worship across the country have issued guidelines to pilgrims to minimize person-to-person contact while coming for darshan.