The government of Kerala announced the steps to carry out the annual pilgrimage of the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple.
The government of Kerala announced that the two-month pilgrimage will take place in strict compliance with the Covid-19 protocol. The government also announced steps will be taken to prevent those infected with the virus from attending the event and, according to officials, will not allow anyone under the age of 10 and over 60 to attend the pilgrimage.
The government also said that due to the increasing cases of coronavirus across the country, limited pilgrims are being admitted and those people who should register through a virtual queuing system will be allowed in. After meeting with various departments, Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that pilgrims would not be allowed to stay on the temple grounds after darshan. In the meantime, the health department is investigating whether climbing hills wearing masks has any effect.
Devotees visiting the temple are not allowed to immerse themselves in the Pamba River. Instead, shower facilities can be bathed in Erumely and Pamba. Special arrangements are made to make offerings of Neyyabhishekam and Annadanam to the devotees. To prevent the virus from spreading, the pilgrims are given drinking water in steel pots. Supplyco and Consumerfed local outlets have set up kiosks to stock essential items. A committee has been set up to see how many people from different countries can participate in the pilgrimage. A virtual meeting with other ministers from the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Puducherry by Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran to discuss pilgrims from the respective states.
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