Chittoor: At least 743 employees of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), including some priests of the Lord Venkateswara shrine, have tested positive for Covid-19 after the temple reopened for devotees following the relaxation in coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state.
As many as three staffers have reportedly succumbed to the viral infection so far.
Out of those infected, a total of 402 staffers have recovered completely and have rejoined duties while the remaining 338 staff are undergoing treatment at various Covid-19 hospitals and quarantine facilities in the city, The Times of India quoted TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singh as saying. According to report, not a single devotee who prayed at the hill temple has ”tested” positive for the virus.
Lauding the staff for their impeccable services, Singhal said cases have not increased in Tirupati alone, but the entire state as well the country is facing a similar problem.
EO Anil Singhal lauded the being rendered by the TTD staff to the visiting devotees especially during this crisis hour.
Earlier in July, Andhra had suggested discontinuation of ‘darshan’ in the interest of public health finding fault with the TTD for keeping the Tirumala temple open to devotees despite its 140 employees testing positive for coronavirus.
“In the interest of public health safety, the ‘darshan’ needs to be closed as it doesn’t come under the emergency department (activities),” a senior police official wrote to TTD, which manages the affairs of the world’s richest temple atop Tirumala hill.