Coronavirus: Vaishno Devi yatra from J&K suspended

Coronavirus: Vaishno Devi yatra, inter-state bus services from J&K suspended

Passengers wear masks a precautionary measure against the coronavirus pandemic, at a railway station, in Jammu. (PTI Photo)

Amid looming cornavirus threat, Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday suspended Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine yatra in Katra as a precautionary measure while operations of all inter-state buses, both incoming and outgoing from the Union territory (UT) were also banned.

“Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra has been closed from today. Operations of All Inter State Buses – Incoming and Outgoing from J&K, banned from today,” a J&K government spokesperson tweeted. “Operations of all interstate buses, both incoming and outgoing from Jammu and Kashmir, are banned.”

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An official said those, who have already reached base camp Katra and presently undertaking the pilgrimage shall, however, undergo all the preventive measures.

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) had on Tuesday evening appealed pilgrims to postpone their visit to the cave shrine in the wake of the COVID-19 threat. The Shrine Board has already taken several preventive measures for ensuring safety of the pilgrims. These include curtailing of Atka Aarti slots, closing of Garbhjoon Cave at Adhkuwari, restricting yatra in groups etc.

So far three positive cases of coronavirus have been reported from Jammu region of the Union Territory while eight cases have been tested positive in neighboring Ladakh UT. However, so-far no positive case has been reported from Kashmir region.

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