As nearly 200 pilgrims have been tested Corona positive during the last four days, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) has appealed to the visiting devotees to adherence to the COVID appropriate behaviour, taking precautions to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic and not let down their guard in the wake of a recent spike in positive cases.

On Saturday 88 fresh Corona positive cases were reported in all the 10 districts of Jammu. Out of these 88 cases, 61 were devotees of Mata Vaishno Devi who were tested positive at Katra-the base camp of the cave shrine.

During the last four days 198 devotees, from different parts of the country, have been tested positive. 61 pilgrims were tested positive during testing at Katra on Saturday. On Friday, 30 pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi were tested positive during RT-PCR testing at Katra-the base camp of the cave shrine.

Mata Vaishno Devi
A view of the Bhawan of Vaishno Devi Shrinesocial media

18 devotees from different parts of the country were tested positive on Thursday. 89 pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine belonging to different states tested positive for COVID-19 on their arrival at Katra Railway Station on Wednesday. This was the highest ever number since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Although the yatra of Mata Vaishno Devi is going smoothly, positive cases among pilgrims have added worries to the Health Department. As reported earlier, keeping in view this trend, the district administration of Reasi has decided to set up COVID testing centres at all entry points of Katra to ensure 100 screening of all pilgrims coming from different parts of the country.

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Devotees asked to keep valid, verifiable negative reports with them

The Chief Executive Officer of SMVD Shrine Board has appealed to the pilgrims coming on the pilgrimage of holy shrine to keep with them the valid and verifiable RT-PCR report of not more than 72 hours.

Pilgrims have also been advised to keep themselves masked, besides maintaining social distance norms. It has already been mandatory for the pilgrims to wear face masks/face covers and every Yatri proceeding on the yatra is being scanned through thermal scanners at the Yatra entry points.

For the awareness of the visiting pilgrims about various precautionary measures to be adopted because of COVID-19, regular announcements are also being made on the already installed multi-purpose audio system and hi-tech video walls on the track.

Noteworthy that the Shrine Board is sanitizing its premises in sync with the guidelines and protocols for ensuring the safety of the visiting pilgrims, staff, and the public at large.

Covid test
Swab tests to people at City Railway station, after the Karnataka government eased restrictions amid ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, in Bengaluru on Wednesday 25th August 2021Dhananjay Yadav/IANS

202 fresh COVID-19 cases reported in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir reported 202 new COVID-19 cases during the 24 hours and 88 of the fresh cases were reported from the Jammu division and 114 from Kashmir, taking the overall tally to 3,37,646.

Srinagar reported 49 cases, Baramulla 18, Budgam 12, Pulwama 6, Kupwara 6, Anantnag 3, Bandipora 11, Ganderbal 9, Kulgam 0, Shopian 0, Jammu 15, Udhampur 0, Rajouri 4, Doda 6, Kathua 1, Samba 1, Kishtwar 0, Poonch 0, Ramban 0 and Reasi 61.

Moreover, 179 COVID-19 patients recovered during the last 24 hours, 36 from the Jammu division and 143 from Kashmir. So far 3,31,436 patients have recovered.