Simhachalam temple gears up to fight Covid-19
•It is made mandatory for the temple staff to wear masks •Archana at sanctum sanctorum canceled as a precautionary measure
Visakhapatnam: Like several crowded places reeling under the impact of coronavirus, temples too have not been spared.
In Visakhapatnam, the ancient shrine that dates back to the 11th century is no exception.
Several precautionary measures are in place as the temple authorities have stepped up their vigil to wage a fight against the deadly virus. On a daily basis, minimum 10,000 devotees will have a darshan of Lord Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy at the shrine. On weekends and during holidays, the count of the devout is almost doubled.
Since there is a higher possibility of the virus attack in such crowded destinations, the Simhachalam Devasthanam has made it mandatory for its employees to wear masks while on duty.
According to the Executive Officer of the Devasthanam M Venkateswara Rao, the ritual of 'Archana' being performed at sanctum sanctorum has also been cancelled. The EO further instructed the sanitary workers to spray disinfectants across the premises at regular intervals.
Further, he said special medical camps would be held to clear doubts of the devotees and the staff, after distributing the masks for the temple employees.
It is learnt that the devotees will have 'Laghu darshan' from a distance until the situation eases.
The duration of 'Mahanivedhana' ritual has also been reduced to 20 minutes instead of an hour. This ritual is performed at 11:30 a.m. daily.
As a part of the precautionary measure, the Endowments Department gave instructions to the temple officials during March first week to place flexies in order to create awareness about coronavirus.