GUWAHATI, March 18 - As a pre-emptive measure to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Kamakhya Temple Management Committee has decided to temporarily stop issuing special entry tickets as well as defence personnel�s special tickets with immediate effect.
In view of the alarming threat of spread of the virus through large gatherings, doors of the temple might even be shut down for visitors in the next couple of days. While a number of prominent religious shrines have decided to shut doors for visitors, the Kamakhya Temple Management Committee will observe the situation for a few more days before taking a final call.
Meanwhile, the number of visitors to the temple has gone down significantly in the last few days and is likely to deflate further after restriction on special passes.
�As very few visitors are coming to the temple, we have not yet stopped the darshan completely. However, if the threat continues, we might decide to close the doors for visitors for some time. The daily rituals inside the temple will continue,� Kabindra Sarma, soru doloi of the temple management told The Assam Tribune.
Meanwhile, precautionary measures have already been taken inside the temple premises including mandatory use of sanitisers, no major gathering for puja and extensive sensitisation drive and screening under the aegis of the Joint Director of Health Services.
Further, the temple management has already started initiatives to discourage large gathering of people for various religious and community purposes. The holy shrine that witnesses a huge rush of not less than 4,000 individuals on any average day, has noticed up to 80 per cent fall in the footfall during the past few days.
However, in view of the ensuing Chaitra Navaratra that usually witnesses a huge rush of devotees mostly from central India, further steps would be required so that the number of devotees does not swell beyond the permissible limit.
�We have asked the guest houses and lodges not to book rooms for visitors for a few more days. Moreover, the places where there is a possibility of large gathering of devotees like the Soubhagya Pukhuri, bhog distribution centre, etc., have been closed down,� the soru doloi added.