Tirupati: The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is planning to reintroduce Srivari darshan soon on a trial basis and enforce social distancing measures. The TTD had prohibited the entry of devotees since the commencement of the lockdown.

The plan is to maintain social distancing measures strictly, bypassing the entire system of compartments and allowing devotees directly for darshan on a time-slot basis. If the devotees do not have to wait in the compartments where they have to interact with each other, the spread of the virus can be contained, the officials argued.

In the trial phase, officials will allow local people from Tirupati and nearby areas for darshan. Then they will decide how to replicate the same strategy if a large number of devotees are allowed into the temple.

Further, officials are also considering restarting darshan in Srikalahasti and Kanipakam temples, follow the same system there, and verify the results and make a decision on resuming darshan in the Tirumala temple. However, there has been no official communication from the TTD authorities on plans to restart the darshan. They are awaiting the nod from the Centre before allowing devotees into the temples.

A number of COVID-19 cases, linked to the Koyambedu vegetable market in Chennai, have been reported in Chittoor district. Nellore, too, has reported several positive cases which have also been linked to Koyambedu, a hotspot in Chennai city which has registered more than 400 cases.

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