Chennai: Despite the Centre issuing advisory to avoid mass gatherings in the wake of the Corona virus outbreak, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to go ahead with the Ayodhya Ram Navami Mela.

The chief priest of Ram Lalla Mahant Satyendra Das told the media that the fair should not be stopped. He added that, instead, arrangements should be made to keep the people safe. The fair will be held from March 25 to April 2 and is expected to be attended by at least 10 lakh pilgrims.

The fair is the first one to be held after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Ram Lalla in November 2019, giving the disputed land in Ayodhya to a government trust that will oversee the construction of a Ram temple.

On Tuesday, UP Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had appealed to religious gurus to prevent large gatherings in temples, mosques, and other religious places. All tourist places and museums in the state will be closed till March 31. All educational institutions have been closed and all examinations in the state have also been cancelled. According to sources, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also scheduled to attend the mela.

According to News18, Ayodhya Chief Medical Officer Dr Ghanshyam Singh raised concerns over the permission granted and has appealed to authorities to rethink the decision. "I value life over religious festival," said Singh to News 18.