Religious places have reopened in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district after nearly six months, and devotees have been asked to strictly follow all guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In an order issued late Monday evening, district Collector Manish Singh asked devotees and priests to wear masks properly covering the nose and mouth and follow the social distancing norms.
Sanitisers and use of soap will be mandatory at all religious places in the district, the order said.
Devotees will not be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of temples, it said.
People will have to maintain a distance of six feet from each other while attending feasts at religious places, the order said.
Managements of temples and other religious places in the district will have to ensure that all guidelines are followed, it further said.
The Khajrana Ganesh temple in the city opened its gates for devotees at 9 am on Tuesday.
Its priest Ashok Bhatt told PTI that devotees were being scanned for fever and only those wearing masks were being allowed inside the premises.
“The temple gates will close at 7 pm. The evening ‘aarti’ will be performed only by priests and devotees would not be allowed to attend it,” he said.
The Ranjit Hanuman Mandir in the city also opened its gates for devotees at 6 am on Tuesday.
A member of the temple’s management said sanitisers and soaps have been kept at the main gate of the premises.
He also said that circles have been drawn on the temple’s floor at six feet each so that devotees maintain social distance while standing in queues.
The district administration has also allowed reopening of the Sarafa night food market in the city only for takeaways, officials said.
The permission to open religious places in Indore comes at a time when there is a surge in COVID-19 cases in the worst-hit district of the state.
The district has till now reported 23,524 COVID-19 cases and 558 deaths due to the disease, as per official data.