Temples hold up torch in fight against coronavirus: Shirdi’s Sai Baba and Pune’s Dagdusheth temples shut for devotees

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In a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus in Maharashtra, authorities at Shirdi’s Saibaba Temple and Pune’s Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple have decided to remain shut for its devotees.

Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust said that the temple will close for devotees from 3 pm on Tuesday and will remain closed until further orders. Earlier on Sunday, the trust had appealed the devotees to postpone their visit to Shirdi for a few days.

Pune’s famous Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple will also be closed from Tuesday amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have decided to close the temple for few days on the background of positive cases of COVID-19 being reported in the city. A notice has been placed at the temple premises to inform the devotees,” Ashok Godse , president, Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple Trust told HT.

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Earlier on Monday, Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Temple, Osmanabad’s Tuljabhavani Temple and the world-famous Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad have also been shut.

“Thousands and lakhs of people come to the Siddhivinayak Temple to pay respect. In the current situation, it is our responsibility to deal with the crisis. Hence, the trust has decided that the temple will be closed for worship till further notice,” said Siddhivinayak Temple trust’s chairman Adesh Bandekar.

In comaprison to countries like Iran and South Korea, the action taken by authorities in India and especially in the state of Maharashtra seems sensible and is much appreciated.

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Earlier, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s advisor died after contracting the virus. Hadi Khosroshahi, one of the Iran’s top clerics also died due to coronavirus. Inspite of the pandemic, the country hadn’t shut its shrines. Journalist Masih Alinejad had shared a video which showed people licking the shrines. She wrote: “While the city of Qom is the epicentre of #CoronaVirus in Iran, authorities refuse to close down religious shrines there. These pro-regime people are licking the shrines & encouraging people to visit them. Iran’s authorities are endangering lives of Iranians & the world.”

In South Korea, Lee Mang-hee, the founder of the Shindheonji Church, along with 11 others, was charged for hiding the names of its members who were affected by the novel coronavirus. The 88-year-old, who his followers believe is the ‘angel’ Jesus and descendent of ancient Kings, has been blamed for thwarting the government’s efforts in countering coronavirus.

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Meanwhile, so far 7,175 deaths have been recorded worldwide. In India, 125 patients have tested positive for coronavirus and three deaths have been noted so far. However, reports of the third death in Mumbai are yet to be declared. “It is not possible to say now that the man who died at Kasturba Hospital today, died due to coronavirus. We are waiting for the report,” said Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope.

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