Tirupati: As many as 743 staff of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) including including some priests of the Lord Venkateswara shrine at Tirumala have tested positive for COVID-19 and three have succumbed to the virus since June 11, a top TTD official said.
Of the 743 infected, three employees succumbed to the dreaded contagion and about 402 personnel have recovered so far from infection while 338 people were undergoing treatment at different COVID care facilities, TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal told reporters.
The famous Lord Venkateswara temple in nearby Tirumala governed by the TTD had re-opened on June 11 for public after being close for two and a half months owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, he said.
Singhal denied reports in sections of the media and on social media that TTD had reopened the hill shrine after the coronavirus lockdown for the public with an intention to fill its coffers.
He said the ancient temple was reopened on requests from devotees and entry was allowed by following strict COVID-19 measures.