Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government’s Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) Department withdrew its order mandating two doses of inoculation against Covid-19 for devotees entering the Meenakshi Sundareswar temple in Madurai and Sri Ramanthaswamy temple in Rameswaram.
The order was withdrawn on Sunday evening as several organisations had come out against the order, which was issued on Saturday.
According to the order, starting from December 13, only pilgrims with copies of their vaccination certificate would be allowed entry to the two shrines.
The state government said that the measure was taken to contain the spread of Covid-19 and the possibility of a third wave.
The order also said that as more than 50,000 people visit the two temples per day, hence it was required for the devotees to produce their vaccination certificate.
In Rameswaram, huge boards were erected on roadsides citing the necessity of vaccination and had also mentioned that those without vaccine certificates would be denied entry.
Vaccine shots were kept ready at the local primary health centres to inoculate the devotees.
In a statement to IANS, HR&CE Minister P.K. Sekar Babu said: “Madurai Meenakshi Sunndareswar temple and Sri Ramanathaswamy temple have taken all precautions to prevent the spread of Covid and hence the order mandating vaccination is withdrawn.”