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Religious places in Delhi open from today

(A Catholic priest (L) walks to the altar during a Holy Mass service at the Saint Joseph’s Church as places of religious worship, hotels, restaurants and shopping malls are allowed to operate again after more than two months of lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus in Hyderabad on June 8, 2020. Photo by NOAH SEELAM -AFP)

NEW DELHI, (ANI):- After remaining shut for nearly two and a half months due to lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, numerous places of worship in Delhi on Monday threw open their doors to the public.
Jama Masjid along with various other religious places in Delhi, including Sai Baba Temple and Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib re-opened today. However, not many devotees were seen at Jama Masjid early in the morning.
People also gathered at Jhandewalan Temple, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Gauri Shankar Temple and Kalka Ji Temple in Delhi to offer prayers.
Bharat Bhushan, a devotee at Sai Baba Temple said, “I feel so good after offering prayer at Sai Baba Temple after some two and half months. However, they are not letting us go inside. We offered prayers from outside,” said Bharat Bhushan, a devotee at Sai Baba Temple.
Meanwhile, devotees at Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib were seen passing through the disinfectant tunnel before entering the Gurdwara in order to prevent the virus.
“They are following rules here. They are conducting temperature checks and devotees are not allowed inside without wearing a mask. We offered prayers here by maintaining social distancing. They are not allowing us to sit inside. They are providing us Prasad with proper hygiene,” said Diljeet Kaun, a devotee.
Gyani Harnam Singh, head granthi, Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib said told ANI, “It is my duty to look after the arrangements being made here during the entire day. We are following every guideline issued by the authorities. A sanitisation tunnel has been installed here. There are also 20 sevadaars (servicemen) in one shift here to ensure social distancing.”
He continued saying that everything is being sanitized here in every three hours.
“Langar will be distributed as usual and we are still thinking about distributing Prasad, so that we don’t have to touch it while giving it to the devotees. We are planning to get a machine for distributing prasaad. We are ensuring that five people should go inside at a time,” he added.
Norin Anthony from Shrine of Vailankanni, Khan Market told ANI that sanitizer machines have been installed inside the church and markings have also been made to ensure social distancing.
“No offerings will be distributed here. Only 10 people can go inside at a time. Only two to four people have visited here since morning,” she added.
Devotees were also seen offering prayers at Hanuman Temple in Connaught Place.
“Government’s guidelines will be followed. We are happy that religious places have been opened today. A sanitizing tunnel has been installed outside the temple. Offerings are not being accepted here. Nobody can touch the bells or idols here, they are not allowed to sit here. We have also written instructions here to take precautions,” a priest here told ANI.
Earlier, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had said that religious places and places of worship for public, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services along with shopping malls will be permitted to open from June 8.
However, these facilities will not be able to resume operations inside containment zones designated by authorities in states, said a government notification. (ANI)

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