MUMBAI: In the wake of rising coronavirus cases across the state, the Sai Baba Temple in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra has issued new guidelines for the devotees coming to the popular temple.
According to the new guidelines issued by the Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan Trust, the devotees will now be allowed to take darshan from 6 AM till 9 PM daily. Among other decisions, devotees will not be allowed to attend the early morning prayers (kakad aarti) at 4.30 AM and at 10.30 PM (Shej aarti).
The trust has decided to change the darshan timings in view of a massive spike in the covid-19 cases in several cities of Maharashtra including Amravati, Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Nashik etc.
It may be recalled that the Maharashtra government has imposed strict restrictions and night curfew in high-risk cities, including Shirdi, to prevent the further spread of the deadly pandemic.
Besides, the Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan Trust has decided to cap the number of devotees visiting the popular temple from across the country daily. According to reports, the temple administration has decided to allow only 15,000 devotees to take the daily ‘darshan’ of Sai Baba.
The devotees visiting the temple would be allowed to strictly adhere to the Centre’s COVID-19 guidelines, with a focus on social distancing and face mask.
Shirdi temple, which had been closed during the lockdown, was re-opened for devotees on November 16 last year. The temple management has urged people to obtain passes online for 'darshan' and 'aarti' to avoid crowding in view of the coronavirus outbreak. The passes can be obtained from the temple's official website.
Maharashtra on Tuesday recorded more than 6,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, along with one of the highest fatality counts in recent times, taking the death toll to 51,857. The state reported 6,218 new COVID-19 cases, up from 5,210 on Monday, taking the tally to 21,12,312. The state has been witnessing an upsurge in COVID-19 cases since February 10.