Move follows instructions from the Health Department

In the wake of COVID-19 cases in various parts of the country, Mata Amritanandamayi has stopped her daily darshan till further notice following instructions from the Health Department. The spiritual leader based in Amritanandamayi Math, Kollam, usually blesses her devotees by embracing them and the ashram regularly sees a footfall of around 3,000 a day.

“We are sorry to inform you that due to the extremely heightened restrictions specified to the Mata Amritanandamayi Math by the Health Department — including mandatory quarantines, daily health checks, and other protocols — currently, the Ashram cannot allow anyone to enter Amritapuri Ashram. This includes Indian nationals as well as foreign-passport-holders (including OCI-holders). This includes both day visits and overnight stays. This policy is irrespective of any amount of time the individual may have been within the nation of India,” said a notice issued by the Math authorities.

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Though the Math has been screening visitors, there was no restrictions for entering the ashram till Wednesday. The district administration and Health Department had approached ashram authorities since avoiding physical contact is very important in preventing the spread of the virus. “The devotees wait for their turn in the huge prayer hall that can accommodate over 15,000 persons at a time. Amma starts seeing her devotees every day at 9 a.m. and often it goes on till midnight. Taking into account the risk involved, we have cancelled darshan as a precautionary measure,” said an Ashram representative.

Meanwhile, the Health Department has instructed those returning from abroad and places like Delhi, Rajasthan and Telangana to remain in home quarantine. “Though the samples are tested negative it’s mandatory not to attend public events and remain in home quarantine for 14 days. Currently, 32 persons from the district are under home quarantine while two persons have been shifted to hospital,” said District Medical Officer V.V.Shirley.

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