Shani Shingnapur temple has been closed for devotees till further notice amid coronavirus outbreak in the country. It is one of the most famous temples that attracts lakhs of pilgrims. It is not too far from Shirdi which has also been closed for devotees as COVID 19 confirmed cases continue to surge in the country, especially in Maharashtra where total coronavirus infected patients have surged to 36.
Earlier in the day, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust informed that Shirdi Sai Baba temple will be closed for devotees from 3 pm today till further orders amid coronavirus outbreak. To curb the spread of the rapidly-spreading virus, the Taj Mahal, which is one of the top tourist sites in the country, has also been closed.
Maharashtra: Devotees gather in huge numbers at Shirdi Saibaba Temple to participate in the last 'aarti' as the temple will close from 3pm today, in the wake of #CoronavirusOutbreak. pic.twitter.com/df5dxUE6uE— ANI (@ANI) March 17, 2020
Dozens of other protected monuments and museums across the country including the Ajanta and Ellora caves and religious sites such as the Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai, were also ordered closed.
India bans entry of passengers from Afghanistan, Phillippines and Malaysia
As another precautionary measure, the government on Tuesday suspended air travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia to India in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the government said no flight will take off from these countries to India after 3 p.m. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure.
The suspension is temporary, the government said adding, it shall be in force till March 31 and reviewed again.
India has already suspended its air travel to Wuhan, the epicenter of coronavirus in China.
Air India on Thursday cancelled all its flights to Kuwait till April 30 and curtailed services to various other countries, including Spain, France and Sri Lanka.
(With inputs from IANS)