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Pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir resumes today; check who all can visit

The temple opened at around 6 am in the morning and a group of 12 devotees reached early morning to offer prayers at the sanctum sanctorum.

Vaishno Devi temple opens for pilgrims! One of the most visited and renowned temples in India, Vaishno Devi’s gates have been opened for devotees after being closed for five months, as the Coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc in India. Not just the main shrine but other religious places in the area have also been opened from today. According to a report by PTI, the temple opened at around 6 am in the morning and a group of 12 devotees reached early morning to offer prayers at the sanctum sanctorum.

It is to note that in March, when the central government released guidelines to prevent the Coronavirus transmission, the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage was put to halt as a precautionary measure. Citing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) Ramesh Kumar, the report highlighted the shrine has opened with all necessary measures that are required to curb the transmission of COVID-19 infection.

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How many people can visit the shrine?

According to the report, in the first week of reopening, the authority has limited per day visits to 2,000 pilgrims; 1,900 are allowed from Jammu and Kashmir only, whereas 100 pilgrims can come from other states. The government has declared a set of rules and regulations that will be followed strictly for safety purposes. Those who want to visit the shrine will have to register themselves online. Only then they will be allowed to undertake the journey.

Moreover, pilgrims who are coming from red zones or outside of the state will have to show a COVID-19 negative report. All pregnant women, senior citizens, children below the age of 10 and those with comorbidities (everyone who are at a greater risk of contracting the viral infection) have been advised not to visit the religious place.

The report said that the authorities also conducted a massive sanitisation campaign from Katra to Bhawan before the resumption of the pilgrimage. Meanwhile, all entry points will have automatic thermal screening along with hand sanitizers.

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