Coronavirus: TTD invokes 28-day ban on pilgrims returning from abroad

Tirupati: Taking precautionary measures against the spread of novel coronavirus, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) authorities have urged devotees freshly returning from abroad not to visit the temple for at least 28 days from their arrival. This was announced by TTD officials on Tuesday.

The authorities further added that “There are millions of devotees in Tirumala, so coronavirus can spread easily. For this reason, we are extra cautious about pilgrims coming from foreign visits.”

The authorities also asked devotees, suffering from cold, sore-throat or fever, to stay away from visiting the temple. Medical teams have been deployed to screen visitors, and in case of emergencies, they will be sent to Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS).

On a normal day, the average number of devotees at the temple is approximately 75,000. However, with vacations fast-approaching, it may increase, which calls for caution, they said.

Earlier on March 8, four people were admitted to Tirupati Ruia Hospital on possible COVID-19 presence. They tested negative. A Taiwanese national also tested negative.

As of now, the number of positive cases in India has gone up to 62, with new cases being reported from Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Meanwhile, the Union Government has asked people with a travel history to Italy and South Korea to produce ‘negative’ COVID-19 certificates before entering the country.

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