Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, facing rising Covid cases and an infrastructure that is struggling to cope, has urged tourists to stay out of the temple city in April.
The temple city has seen a steep rise of 1,266 per cent in Covid cases over the past two weeks.
"We appeal to domestic and international tourists planning to visit Varanasi to cancel their trip this month because of the unprecedented Covid infections," Varanasi District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma has said in an advisory.
The Varanasi district administration has also made it mandatory to present a negative RT-PCR test report for people coming to three prominent temples in Varanasi.
These temples are Vishwanath Temple, Sankatmochan Temple, and Annapurna Temple, said Agrawal. He further stated that the same order shall also be implemented in the city's hotels as well.
Agrawal said, "Varanasi district administration has made it mandatory for devotees to produce negative RT-PCR test report not older than three days to enter Vishwanath Temple, Sankatmochan Temple, and Annapurna Temple. We'll implement it for hotels also."
Uttar Pradesh reported the second-highest number of new COVID-19 cases in the country at 17,963 on Wednesday, the Union health ministry said.
As per the ministry's statement on Wednesday, the state recorded the third-highest number of COVID deaths in the country at 85.