Sabarimala all set to reopen for annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku season
New Delhi, Nov 14: Detailed arrangements have been made to ensure protection from COVID-19 as Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple prepares to reopen for the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku season. The entire pilgrimage would be through the virtual queue system this time, so the usual heavy rush can be regulated, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said on Friday.
According to reports, several measures have been taken by the government to ensure a smooth pilgrimage in the wake of the novel coronavirus, Surendran said each pilgrim, visiting the shrine, should carry a COVID-19 negative certificate, taken within the last 24 hours.
COVID-19 testing kiosks would be opened at Pampa and Nilakkal, the base camps, to help devotees to carry out the test before beginning the trekking.
Apart from this, arrangements would be made by the health department to make antigen tests in various centres including, all bus stands and railway stations at Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruvalla,Chengannur and Kottayam, where pilgrims arrive to proceed to the Lord Ayyappa temple, he said.
The specific place would be marked for each devotee, the minister said adding that those aged between 60-65 years should submit a medical fitness certificate.
Those testing positive for the viral infection, including those from other states, would be given adequate treatment until they turn negative.
Treatment can be given in either government or private hospitals as per the demand of the pilgrims.
All arrangements including the ambulance facility have been arranged in the government medical colleges in Pathanamthitta and Kottayam and also in the private hospitals in these districts, he said.