Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Mar 18 (ANI): The Odisha government on Wednesday asked all religious institutions in the state to "strictly adhere to the coronavirus prevention norms issued by the state government".
"In view of coronavirus situation, Odisha Government gives an advisory to all religious institutions within the state to strictly adhere to the coronavirus prevention norms, given by state government, including social distancing and other measures," an advisory issued by the Chief Minister's office read.
It further adds that in case any religious institution is not able to maintain the precautions for preventing the virus, they are hereby advised to immediately restrict the entry of pilgrims while continuing with the rituals.
"The concerned agencies/boards/trusts/governing institutions should immediately take a conscious decision to protect the pilgrims, priests, sevayats and other security personnel involved," the statement added.
On Tuesday, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board appealed pilgrims to postpone their visit to the temple till normalisation of the situation. The shrine board has stepped up its preparedness to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is conducting thermal screening at several points of the pilgrimage.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India has reached 147, including 122 Indians and 25 foreign nationals, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday.
Globally, the virus has infected more than 184,000 people and killed more than 7500, as per the data available on the World Health Organisation website. (ANI)