Temples in Varanasi shut amid lockdown

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar 26 (ANI): Temples in the holy city of Varanasi wore a deserted look as celebrations on the occasion of Chaitra Navratri were suspended amid a lockdown to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

Police teams were deployed outside several temples in an effort to ensure that the rules of the lockdown are followed.

Some devotees were seen offering prayers from outside temples.

In his address to the nation on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country beginning midnight to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that "social distancing" is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly.

The number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 649, according to the Union health ministry update on Thursday morning. (ANI)