A top member of the Tirumala Tirupati temple’s board said that people can continue to visit the temple for the darshan. The statement comes after 140 staffers tested Covid-19 positive.

Following the center’s Unlock plans to handhold the country out of the pandemic in phases, the shrine’s board decided to re-open the temple on June 11.

A.V. Ramana Dikshitulu, Tirumala temple’s honorary chief priest yesterday raised concern over the increase of coronavirus cases among the priest. He also warned of a disaster if the temple remains open.

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15 out of 50 priests got infected with coronavirus while results of 25 others are awaited, he tweeted. He alleged that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Executive Officer and Additional Executive Officer are following anti hereditary archaka and anti-Brahmin policy of Telugu Desam Party and its chief Chandrababu Naidu. He also wrote that they refused to stop darshan. He tagged Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in his tweet.

Chairperson of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Board, YV Subba Reddy said that there is no evidence of pilgrims testing positive for COVID-19.

Most of those who got tested positive of Covid-19 are from the Andhra Pradesh Police who have been working with the temple, Mr reddy said, adding seventy have recovered.  The TTD chairperson said that only one of them is having severe symptoms.

According to the authorities, there is a need for social distancing as Covid-19 spread faster in crowded places. Fourteen priests were among 140 temple employees who tested positive for coronavirus.

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