Tirupati: Reiterating that not even a single devotee has tested positive for COVID-19 since resumption of services at the Venkateswara temple in Tirumala on June 8, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Trust Board chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy announced that 17 employees of the devasthanams have tested positive so far.
Speaking to media after an emergency board meeting at Annamaiah Bhavan in Tirumala on Saturday, Subba Reddy disclosed that one assistant priest, a couple of musicians, and vigilance and security staffers have been infected. “After an extensive enquiry, we found that none of the 17 employees who tested positive hails from Tirumala,” he underlined.
Subba Reddy maintained that revenues and hundi collections are not important for the TTD, and there would be no compromise on the health of employees. “We have already instructed officials to provide the affected employees the best of treatment. We will also put in place top quality measures to ensure that pilgrims on a visit to Tirumala do not fall prey to the coronavirus."
Subba Reddy announced that instead of week-long shifts, TTD is contemplating two-week long shifts for employees to ensure their health. “Every employee will be tested for corona and only then allowed to discharge their duties. Additional safety measures will be ensured at Kalyanakatta with barbers being given gloves and PPE kits. The same will also be issued to Vahana bearers and those at prasadam distribution counter,” he stated.
Keeping in mind the spike in cases of coronavirus in the country, the TTD chairman said no more than 12,000 devotees will be allowed to have darshan of the deity in the foreseeable future....