Covid neg­a­tive re­port not older than 48 hrs a must for pil­grims


Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - Htregion - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

JAMMU: Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board on Mon­day said pil­grims com­ing from out­side Jammu and Kash­mir are re­quired to bring ‘valid Covid-19 neg­a­tive test re­port’ not older than 48 hours on their ar­rival at Ka­tra or else they will not be al­lowed to un­der­take the pil­grim­age.

The pil­grim­age to Mata Vaishno Devi Tem­ple re­sumed on Au­gust 16, nearly five months af­ter it was sus­pended due to the pan­demic on March 18.

The shrine board is abid­ing with all cen­tral health norms to con­tain the spread of virus. Only 2,000 peo­ple are al­lowed to visit the shrine per day.

Shrine board CEO Ramesh Ku­mar said, “It was al­ready de­cided that pil­grims from out­side J&K will not be al­lowed with­out a valid Covid-19 neg­a­tive re­port but we no­ticed that few ya­tris were not fol­low­ing the guide­lines. There­fore, they were not al­lowed to un­der­take the pil­grim­age.”

“We have re­it­er­ated our guide­lines again for the wider dis­sem­i­na­tion of peo­ple liv­ing out­side the UT. We would like to in­form them again that pil­grims from out­side J&K must come with valid Covid-19 neg­a­tive re­port not older than 48 hours when they reach Ka­tra so as to

Jammu and Kash­mir on Mon­day recorded seven deaths and 428 fresh Covid-19 in­fec­tions, tak­ing the to­tal num­ber of pos­i­tive cases in the Union ter­ri­tory to 33,075. Also, 373 more peo­ple were cured and dis­charged from var­i­ous hos­pi­tals. With this, over­all re­cov­er­ies have reached 25,205, which ac­counts for 76.2% re­cov­ery rate. Ac­tive cases in the UT stand at 7,246.

Of­fi­cials said seven more peo­ple have suc­cumbed to the dis­ease in Kash­mir. The death toll in the UT has risen to 624— 577 in Kash­mir and 47 in Jammu divi­sion till date. In Kash­mir, the high­est jump in fresh cases was wit­nessed in Sri­na­gar where 78 more peo­ple tested pos­i­tive fol­lowed by Bandi­pora at 65 and Budgam at 27. In Jammu divi­sion, the high­est num­ber of 65 cases in Jammu district.

avoid any hard­ships. Those with­out it shall not be al­lowed un­der any cir­cum­stances.”

For lo­cal pil­grims, rapid anti­gen tests are be­ing con­ducted at the Ka­tra base camp be­fore al­low­ing them to un­der­take the yatra.

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