COVID-19: Vaishno Devi Shrine Board restrictions on visitors

Jammu: The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (MVDSB) has issued an advisory on Sunday restricting non-resident Indians (NRIs), foreigners and Indian citizens who have been abroad, from undertaking the pilgrimage to the hill shrine till they complete the mandatory isolation period after arrival in India.

Speaking to IANS, Ramesh Kumar, chief executive officer (CEO) of MVDSB said, “There is no restriction on any domestic pilgrim who has not been abroad recently.”

“As a health precaution, we have advised all NRIs, foreigners and those Indians who have been abroad recently, not to visit the shrine till they complete a 28-day isolation period after their arrival in India”.

The CEO said this had become necessary for the protection of the health of thousands of pilgrims who come to pay obeisance at the shrine daily.

“Presently we are having around 25,000 pilgrims visiting the shrine daily. Yes, there has been some decline in the number of pilgrims because of the coronavirus scare.”

“In the months of February and March we used to have around 30,000 pilgrims daily. During Navratras and holidays in different parts of the country the pilgrim number goes up to around 50,000 per day,” Kumar said.

He said there are sufficient scanning facilities at the shrine to scan the pilgrims on a daily basis for the coronavirus infection.