The district administration in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya has prohibited the entry of outsiders and banned both crowds gathering at temples in the town and mass bathing in the Sarayu river, ahead of Ram Navami festivities to be celebrated next week.
As per the notification, devotees and visitors from outside will be stopped at the district border and sent back. In addition, no bookings will be allowed at the Yatri Niwas and Hotel Dharamshala Lodge in the district.
The restrictions, which will be in place till April 2, amid concern over the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak. According to the Health Ministry, Uttar Pradesh has 24 cases of the virus.
The announcement comes a day after the 'Ram Kot Parikrama', an important event that marks the start of Ram Navami festivities, was suspended.
'There are many such important parikramas (the act of circling the object of worship) that we organise in Ayodhya. This is one event and was scheduled for March 24, but the coronavirus is a national and international threat,' Mahant Raj Kumar Das, a member of the organising committee, said.