170 TTD Staffers Including Tirumala Temple Jeeyar Test COVID-19 Positive

 - Sakshi Post

TIRUPATI: As many as 170 staff members of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) have tested positive for coronavirus in a sign of spurt in the cases within the quasi-government organisation. The Jeeyar (seer) of Lord Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple turned out to be the latest to be diagnosed with COVID-19, officials said. 

 Against this backdrop, TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy held a review meeting to take stock of the prevailing situations in Tirumala. He discussed TTD’s preventive measures with Executive Officer (EO)  Anil Kumar Singhal and additional EOs through videoconference. At least, 18 archakas, 100 security personnel, 20 laddu making workers, two workers of tonsuring area, Kalyanakatta, are among the TTD employees who have so far tested positive for the dreaded virus. However, of the 170 infected, 70 persons were already cured of the disease and are currently under home quarantine.

YV Subba Reddy ordered all necessary medicare and treatment for temple Jeeyar and other TTD staffers. Given the situation, the board is likely to announce the suspension of the darshan services at the temple by Friday evening..

The board chairman, after a review meeting on Thursday, announced that temple priests above 60 years of age would be kept out of their duties.

The hill-shrine of Lord Sri Venkateswara Swamy atop Tirumala was reopened for darshan to all devotees on June 11. The resumption of darshan services were allowed with the intention of taking all the necessary precautionary measures across the hill town including the sanctum sanctorum to stay safe from COVID-19. The darshan of the presiding deity was revived after an 80-day closure due to COVID-19 lockdown in the state.

The temple resumed its operations on June 8 following a trial run that was held with TTD employees and local residents for two days.

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