COVID: Vaishno Devi Yatra may not take off after Aug 16 as 11 test positive at Bhawan

Jammu: The much-awaited pilgrimage to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine may not resume even after August 16 as the government has issued guidelines for reopening of all the religious places as around 11 people have been tested positive at Bhawan in Trikuta Hills of Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.
“In total 11 people have been tested positive for COVID-19 at Bhawan,” official sources here said.
They said that three people were tested positive on Tuesday and eight including some of the priests, were tested positive on Wednesday.
“We have not yet declared the Bhawan area as containment or Red Zone but contact tracing is going on,” Indu Kanwal Chib, Deputy Commissioner, Reasi here told UNI.
Pertinent to mention here that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, as per official sources was planning to restart the pilgrimage after August 16 with SOPs and guidelines in place with a cap of 5000 pilgrims per day.
The sources also added that the Board was also planning to restrict pilgrimage during the night hours.
First time in the history, Vaishno Devi pilgrimage was suspended on March 18 due to coronavirus pandemic.