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Himachal closes government-run temples over COVID-19; advises devotees to go for online darshan

DHARAMSHALA: The Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday advised people to shun darshan of deities at temples in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic which has infected over 100 people in the country.

There will be no darshans in all the government-controlled temples in Himachal Pradesh in view of the possibility of people getting infected with the coronavirus in gatherings, the state government said in a statement.

Under this, three Shaktipeeths — mother Jwalamukhi, mother Bajreshwari Kangra and mother Chamunda — of Kangra have been closed from Tuesday.

The decision was taken after the state government issued a notification.

Deputy Commissioner of Kangra Rakesh Prajapati said that the devotees, who arrived late on Monday or early Tuesday morning, were allowed darshan.

Later, all three temples were closed to the general public.

The devotees could watch live darshan of all temples through YouTube channel and webcasting.

The doors of Chintpurni Shaktipeeth, the most-visited temple in Kangra and Una districts, has been closed in Una.

The entry of devotees into the temple has been banned from Tuesday until further orders.

The devotees will now be able to watch live darshan of the temple on the website.

India has reported 126 positive cases to include 22 foreign nationals.

So far, three people have lost their lives after getting infected with the virus.