The Varanasi administration has made it mandatory for all visitors to carry a negative RT-PCR test report of past 72 hours, if they wish to seek accommodation in hotels and visit temples including Kashi Vishwanath, Annapurna and Sankat Mochan temples in the holy city.
The district administration has also advised pilgrims and tourists from across the country to avoid visiting the holy city for pilgrimage in view of the rising figures of new Covid-19 positive cases.
According to divisional commissioner Deepak Agrawal and district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma, the decision was taken to discourage people from gathering at shrines, religious and tourist sites.
“Now, producing RT-PCR negative report has been made mandatory for people thronging prominent temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, Annapurna temple and Sankat Mochan. Similar provision has been mandated for hotels for accommodating guests. The step has been taken in view of the continuous influx of pilgrims from southern, western and eastern states,” the commissioner said.
He further said, “We are also appealing to the pilgrims to avoid visiting Kashi in view of the fresh wave of Covid-19 pandemic. People from other cities are also being advised to visit the city only in case of urgency. The district administration has already imposed a ban on visiting ghats along river Ganga between 4 p.m. and 6 a.m. apart from clamping night curfew.”
Varanasi has been hit hard in the fresh Covid-19 wave, especially in the past 10 days, as over 1,000 cases are being recorded daily while the number of active cases is also nearing the 10,000-mark.