Mumbai, March 17: As the threat of the deadly coronavirus looms over India, authorities in  Maharashtra decided to close temples for devotees to contain the spread of COVID-19. On Tuesday, temple authorities of the famous Shirdi Saibaba Temple in Maharashtra said that the shrine will be shut for devotees from 3 pm on March 17 till further orders. According to a tweet by ANI,  Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust informed that Shirdi  Saibaba Temple will close temple for devotees from 1500 hours today (March 17) till further orders. Also, the Shani Shingnapur temple closed for devotees till further notice.

On Tuesday, devotees gathered in huge numbers at Shirdi Saibaba Temple to participate in the last 'aarti' as the temple will close from 3pm today. In the last week, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust had appealed to devotees to postpone their visit to Shirdi for a few days in view of coronavirus outbreak in the country. On Monday, other famous temples including the Siddhivinayak Temple Trust decided to close the temple for devotees till further notice.

Here's the tweet:

In India, the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 increased to three after a 63-year-old male patient, who was admitted at Kasturba Hospital died after being infected by the virus."He had high blood pressure, pneumonia & inflammation of heart muscles and increased heart rate leading to death. He tested positive for COVID19", a tweet by ANI said. The total COVID-19 confirmed cases in India now stand at 126, with Maharashtra being the worst-hit with 39 positive cases.

Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared the coronavirus outbreak a 'pandemic'. Coronavirus, which originated in China's Wuhan city, has so far spread to more than 150 countries with 6606 deaths worldwide.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 17, 2020 01:20 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website