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RTPCR, double vaccination certificate no more needed to visit Puri's Jagannath temple

The decision was taken in view of the declining COVID-19 cases, officials said.

February 21, 2022 / 12:30 PM IST
Jagannath Temple (Image: Wikipedia)

Jagannath Temple (Image: Wikipedia)

Devotees will now be allowed to enter the famed Jagannath temple in Odisha’s Puri without double vaccination certificates or RTPCR COVID-negative reports, the administration announced on Monday.

The decision was taken in view of the declining COVID-19 cases, officials said.

Earlier, devotees required double vaccination certificates or RTPCR-negative reports obtained within 72 hours for entering the temple.

Devotees will be allowed to enter the temple from 6 am to 9 pm on all days, except Sunday when it will be closed for sanitisation, said a new order issued by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).

Wearing masks and maintaining social distance are mandatory, it said.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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A separate queue has been made operational for senior citizens, it added.

Arrangements for drinking water will be made for the devotees when they wait in the queue, the order said.

SJTA chief administrator Krishan Kumar said the rules will be reviewed periodically and revised instructions will be issued from time to time, keeping in view the evolving situation.
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