KATHMANDU, April 21: The renowned Manakamana, Gorakhnath and Gorkhkali temples will remain closed from Wednesday until the end of the Nepali month of Baisakh (mid-May). The District Administration Office, Gorkha, has announced that all monasteries, temples, churches, and mosques in the district will be closed till mid-May.
According to the Chief District Officer Saligram Poudel, a meeting of the District COVID-19 Crisis Management Committee (DCCMC) decided to close all monasteries, temples, churches, and mosques in the district except the daily worship, meditation and prayers till mid-May. “The decision to follow health safety measures even during daily worships and prayers has also been taken by the committee,” Poudel added.
As stated by the chairman of Manakamana Development Committee, Raj Kumar Joshi, over 7,000 devotees visited the Manakamana Temple on the occasion of Chaite Dashain on Tuesday, as there was no decision from the district administration office. Furthermore, worship gatherings have been banned at religious sites since Wednesday in the district.
According to the chief of Gorkha Durbar Maintenance Office, Hari Bushal, the devotees could not leave the temples on Tuesday as it was an auspicious day for worship of Gorakhkali on Ashtami of Chaite Dashain. “Worship gatherings at the temple have been banned since Wednesday as per the decision of the DCCMC,” he added.
The DCCMC has also decided not to allow more than 25 participants in fairs, festivals, weddings, and other religious ceremonies including a permission from the District Administration Office to run party palaces.
In addition, activities such as meetings, conferences, seminars, review meetings, training, etc, should be conducted virtually. In the case of physical presence for such activities, no more than 25 people can attend a meeting at once. Also, the decision to shut down cinema halls, party palaces, dance halls, health clubs, gyms, and sports events and crowded programs till mid- May has taken effect as well.
The DCCMC meeting has also decided to make it mandatory for everyone using public vehicles to wear a mask, limit the number of passengers according to vehicles seat capacity, and also disinfect the vehicles on a daily basis. Also, hotels and restaurants are to be disinfected on a daily basis as well while not allowing people to enter without a mask.