Mumbai's famous Siddhivinayak Temple (Photo Credit: File)
Mumbai's famous Siddhivinayak Temple, Ajanta and Ellora caves in Maharashtra will remain shut devotees and tourists respectively till further orders amid the novel coronavirus pandemic which has claimed more than 6,000 lives globally and infected over 100 people in India so far. The decision was taken after the Maharashtra government's appeal to the Siddhivinayak Temple Board.
Earlier, the temple administration of Siddhivinayak were taking precautions to avoid the disease. The Siddhivinayak temple located in Prabhadevi has instructed all its employees to wear masks, while hand sanitizers have been provided to everyone inside the Siddhivinayak temple.
Speaking to ANI Siddhivinayak Temple Trust Chairman, Adesh Bandekar said, "We are providing sanitizers to all the devotees in the temple and where they stand in a queue holding the railings, are being cleaned in every 30 minutes."
"We have provided masks to every security guard who comes in contact with people the most and we have taken all the important measures to prevent coronavirus," he added. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a 'pandemic'.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday asked district collectors to ensure there is no crowding at religious sites in view of the novel coronavirus threat, though worship there may continue. Announcing several measures to stop the spread of the virus after a review meeting, Thackeray directed that political events, meetings etc not take place.
He said foreign tours have been banned and gram panchayat and other local body meetings have been postponed. From Tuesday, measures will be in place to stop the flow of people into Mantralaya, the state's secretariat in south Mumbai, the CM informed.
Thackeray also ordered the closure of schools in rural areas, and instructed officials to place sanitisers and soaps in public toilets, as part of measures to tackle the coronavirus threat. Maharashtra has 37 Covid-19 patients as on Monday.
(With PTI inputs)