In a bid to mitigate the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust on Tuesday informed that Shirdi Sai Baba temple will be closed for devotees from 3:00 pm on March 17 till further orders. This comes after the Maharashtra government on Friday invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act declaring the Coronavirus as an epidemic, as announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The trust on Sunday had also appealed to the devotees to postpone their visit to Shirdi for a few days. Earlier, Mumbai's Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai Devi temple and Mahalaxmi Temple had been closed for devotees effective from March 17 till further notice. Maharashtra now accounts for the highest number of COVID-19 cases, taking the total to 36. Meanwhile, the total number of positive cases in India has soared over to 125, including 17 foreign nationals.
On March 14, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that all malls except grocery stores which sell commodities of day-to-day need to be closed in view of coronavirus, while addressing a press conference in Mumbai. The government announced that all educational institutes including public and private schools and colleges will remain shut till 31 March in view of the rise in Coronavirus cases in the state. Moreover, the government has stated that all exams of standard 10 & 12 and university courses will continue according to the schedule but postponed all exams up to Class 9. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act declaring the Coronavirus as an epidemic - declaring all gyms, swimming pools, malls, theatres, pubs shut in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Pimpri-Chinchwad till March 31.
First detected in Wuhan in December 2019, COVID-19- the novel Coronavirus has affected nearly 148 countries in the world. Presently, there are around 182,609 confirmed cases of COVID-19 which has led to the death of around 7,171 people. As there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to treat COVID-19 yet, countries have been grappling with all possible mechanisms to contain its scope. So far, China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran have witnessed the most number of confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus.