The local level government has begun running a health desk in Manakamana Temple premises in view of the risks of COVID-19. The shrine recently reopened following a nearly four-month-long prohibitory order enforced to curb the spread of coronavirus.
According to the chief of the health section at Shahid Lakhan Rural Municipality, Birendra Shrestha said that the famous religious shrine reopened for the devotees on September 8. Shrestha shared that they are regularly taking health checkups of the priests, security personnel, and staffers at the temple. “Since the temple priests and security personnel get in touch with devotees arriving at this shrine, all of them are at risk of the contagion. Hence, we have been regularly conducting health checks of the priests, security personnel, and temple staffers.” Similarly, health checkups would be conducted on any devotees facing health hazards or medical emergencies arriving at the temple besides providing medical intervention for devotees, informed Shrestha.
Furthermore, the devotees arriving at the temple without facemasks are provided with the mask to minimise the risk of COVID infection. There is at least a health worker at the health desk and he/she treats separately who have symptoms of fever, flu, and others. The temple was closed from May 6 after the start of the deadly second wave.
The Temple Management Committee said that the devotees would hand over the paraphernalia of puja to the priest through the outer window of the temple. Those coming to offer an animal sacrifice are allowed to perform animal sacrifice rituals in a separate place, said Insan Thapa, the Chief Priest of the temple.