New Delhi: The Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi which reopened on November 16, 2020, after Uddhav Thackeray-led government’s nod, witnessed over 1 lakh devotees till Tuesday (November 25, 2020).
During the last ten days, the Sai Baba devotees from across the world also donated over Rs 3.09 crore. Besides this, 64 gm gold worth Rs 2,85,629 was also donated along with 2.8 kg silver worth Rs 93,000.
Earlier on November 15, Maharashtra CM Thackeray on reopening the religious places had said, “We can’t forget that the demon coronavirus is still amongst us. Even though this demon is slowly falling silent now, we cannot be complacent. Citizens need to follow discipline. Just like discipline and restraint were observed while celebrating Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri and Pandharpur wari (annual pilgrimage), followers of other faiths also celebrated festivals like Eid, Mount Mary festival by keeping the COVID-19 safety protocol in mind.”
As per the standard operating procedures (SOPs) released by the state government, religious places located out of COVID-19 containment zones have been allowed to reopen as per the timings decided by authorities, and devotees have been allowed inside in a staggered manner.
According to the SOPs laid down by the government, only asymptomatic people have been allowed inside places of worship and the wearing of face mask is mandatory for devotees, along with maintaining social distancing. The management of such places is also conducting thermal scanning and has made available hand wash or sanitisers.
The number of people to be allowed inside such places in a particular time slot has been decided on the size of the structure and ventilation.