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Religious institutions to reopen in parts of Odisha as COVID curbs ease

Easing the lockdown curbs, the Odisha government had earlier authorized the district collectors to take the decision on the reopening of the religious institutions across the State.

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

Shut down for the past three months owing to the outbreak of 2nd wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the places of worship including temples reopened on Tuesday in various places of the State with the government yet to decide on the reopen the famous Puri Jagannath temple and Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar.

Easing the lockdown curbs, the State government had earlier authorized the district collectors to take the decision on the reopening of the religious institutions across the State.

The religious institutions except for the 12th century Jagannath temple in Puri district reopened today to the public in accordance with the government’s COVID-19 protocol. With regard to the reopening of the Jagannath temple, the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) will take a decision in this regard. The district administration does not have the authority to take a call in this regard, said Puri Collector, Sanarth Verma.

The administration has issued an advisory asking the people above 65years of age, comorbidities, pregnant women, and children not to visit the places of worship as they are vulnerable to contract the infection, he said.

Though the rate of infection has been considerably flattened, the disease is yet to fully subside. Besides, the possible outbreak of the pandemic third wave is also being apprehended by health experts. Therefore, the management of religious institutions besides the general public has to abide by Covid protocol, he added.

The Sambalpur administration also announced the reopening of religious places from today while places of worship in Cuttack and Kendrapara districts will reopen on Wednesday as per the decision of the local administrations.

There are reports of places of worship including mosques and churches reopening in other districts of the State.

The Khordha district administration is yet to decide on the reopening of Shree Lingaraj Temple, Ananta Vasudeva Temple, Mukteshwar Temple, Brahmeshwar Temple, Rajarani Temple in the state capital.

The district administrations have been advised to issue advisory on the maintenance of physical distance between the faithful, thermal screening measures, barring entry of people over the age of 65 and kids below the age of 10, said an official of the health and family welfare department.