After months of being remained closed due to the spread of coronavirus, Sabarimala temple in Kerala opens under strict Covid protocols for a five-day monthly pooja on Saturday.

Though the temple reopened after a seven-month closure on Friday, the general public was allowed from today morning.

According to the reports, as many as 246 people have booked through the virtual queue system for darshan today.

Each day only 250 people will be allowed inside the temple.

Keeping in mind the spread of deadly virus, rapid antigen tests are being conducted at Nilackal base camp for those not carrying a negative test report.

Special arrangements have also been made for performing offerings, including “neyyabhishekam” (ghee abhishekam) and “annadanam” (the sacred tradition of offering food).

A compulsory fitness certificate and entry only for people between 10-60 years of age have been permitted.

The customary bathing at Pamba river has been discontinued and overnight stay at “sannidhanam” or base camps, Pamba or Nilackal, is also not allowed.

“Devotees will not be allowed to take a dip in river Pamba. Instead, shower systems will be arranged at Erumely and Pamba for them to take bath,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was quoted as saying by news agency PTI recently.

For the first time in the last one and a half months, the active cases of coronavirus in India have dipped below 8-lakh mark, the Health Ministry said on Saturday morning.

Country’s overall Covid tally surged to 74.3 lakh after 62,212 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the last 24 hours.

As per the Health Ministry data, the total number of active cases in India dropped to 7.95 lakh today as 70,816 patients fought off COVID-19 since yesterday.

The recovery rate stands at 87.8 per cent and about 65.2 lakh patients in the country have so far recovered from the viral disease.

However, India continues to report the highest number of new COVID-19 daily infections in the world.

The daily surge has come down from around 1 lakh fresh cases in mid-September to about 70,000 in the past week.