The TTD issued the advisory late on Tuesday night as a precautionary measure to check the spread of coronavirus.

COVID-19 TTD asks devotees not to visit Tirumala for 28 days after landing in IndiaFile photo: TTD
news Coronavirus Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 08:23

Amid fresh coronavirus cases being reported in parts of the country, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) that manages the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara in Andhra Pradesh has issued an advisory asking foreigners, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and others not to visit the temple for 28 days after they land in the country.

The TTD issued the advisory late on Tuesday night as a precautionary measure to check the spread of coronavirus.

A TTD statement said that the temple administration has been taking all measures to protect the health of the lakhs of pilgrims visiting the temple.

"As Tirumala is always abuzz with pilgrim activity, the chances of spreading of coronavirus is more. Keeping in view the health safety of lakhs of pilgrims visiting Tirumala, TTD has made an appeal to devotees who are coming from other countries to restrain from visiting Tirumala for 28 days," the TTD statement said.

This is the second statement issued by the TTD in a week over the spread of coronavirus.

Earlier in the week, Additional Executive Officer of TTD, AV Dharma Reddy had asked devotees to skip their visits to the temple, if they showed any symptoms of the virus. He was speaking to reporters after a TTD Board meeting held in Tirumala on Sunday.

People who planned to visit were also asked to come equipped with masks and sanitisers.

The TTD said that facilities for thermal screening would be set up, and if anyone showed signs of a fever, they would be sent to the Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) hospital for treatment.

Believed to have been constructed over a period starting 300 AD, the temple atop Tirumala attracts close to one lakh pilgrims every day, with the number going up to 5 lakh devotees on special occasions like the annual Brahmotsavam and other festivals.

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