Health department to test staff of Sheetla Mata temple during Navratri celebrations

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With Navratri starting from October 17, the district health department has decided to administer

Covid-19 tests to the staff members of Sheetla Mata Temple, especially those who are expected to be in direct contact with devotees.

Sheetla Mata temple in Sector 6 records high footfall during the Navratri celebrations every year and expects to see more than four lakh devotees this year, officials said.

Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer, Gurugram, said, “A day before Navratri starts, all the staff members of the temple will be tested for Covid-19. Since the temple is expecting over four lakh people over a period of nine days, the health department will conduct a second round of the test for the staff on October 21 or 22 to identify people who might have contracted the virus.” Navratri will last till October 25.

According to Yadav, the temple staff, who will be in direct contact with the devotees while distributing prasad and offerings, will be tested twice during the nine-day long period. The decision was taken in a meeting held between health department and Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) on Monday.

Taking further precautionary measure, the MCG team will sanitise the temple premises daily. Ashish Singla, medical officer, MCG, said, “Not only Sheetla Mata but other temples across the city are also being identified where high footfall is expected. The list of these temples is being prepared where sanitisation will be carried out on a regular basis.”

Religious places in Gurugram were reopened for public from August 12 after the 68-day nationwide lockdown that was imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19. An order was issued by the district administration, stating that the temple operators would have to follow prescribed social distancing norms and other precautions.

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