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Coronavirus Iskcon Suspends Gatherings Across South Africa

Participants of the Festival of Chariots, or Ratha Yatra, an ancient Hindu festival originating in India, dance as a chariot is pulled to the beach Saturday, August 19, 2017 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The festival is an invitation to the Lord of the Universe to enter their hearts, and is held in many major cities around the world. (Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union)

CORONAVIRUS: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) South Africa has suspended all gatherings of devotees as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic increases from 24 to 38 infections in the country.

The ISKCON movement of South Africa has taken measures to ensure health and safety of devotees is a priority in South Africa. The ISKCON national council has flagged the suspension of gatherings and events as a preventative strategy. All large public programs and gatherings i.e. gatherings of more than 50 persons are now not allowed. The suspension will go into effect from Monday the 16th of March until further notice. This includes the suspension of the ‘Sunday Love Feast’ programme nationally from the 16th of March. Some temples and venues of ISKCON have implemented this measure effective already.

Festival of chariots also suspended

The Hindu organisation also suspended the the iconic Ratha Yatra Festival of Chariots that was scheduled to occur in Durban. The event has been a landmark spiritual event during the Easter period which draws crowds in their thousands annually.

The organisation has requested ‘all devotees continue to chant and pray for the well-being and spiritual upliftment’ during this moment of crisis.

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