The local level here has brought a health desk into operation on the Manakamana temple premises in view of the risks of COVID-19.

The shrine is recently reopened following a nearly four-month long prohibitory order enforced to tame the spread of coronavirus. According to chief of health section at Shahid Lakhan Rural Municipality, Birendra Shrestha, the famous religious shrine is reopened for the devotees since September 8.

Shrestha shared that they were carrying out the health check-up of the priests, security personnel and staffers at the temple every day. "Since the temple priests and security personnel come in touch with devotees arriving at this shrine, all of them are at risk of the contagion. Hence, we have been regularly conducting health check of the priests, security personnel and temple staffers."

Similarly, health check-up is also carried out if any devotee faces health issues, informed Shrestha.

Furthermore, the devotees arriving at the temple without face masks are provided with the mask to minimise the risk of flu-like infection.

There is at least one health worker at the health desk and he/she examines the devotees with symptoms of fever, flu and the like separately.

The temple was closed since May 6. The Temple Management Committee said that the devotees hand over their puja offerings to the priest through the outer window of the temple.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 18 2021, of The Himalayan Times.