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Plea to suspend darshan at Tirupati temple as 140 staff test positive for corona

A revolt is brewing in the temple management as TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy has rejected the plea of temple's honorary chief priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu and an employees' association to suspend the darshan as 140 staff have been detected corona-positive.

TIRUMALA, July 16: Sections of the management and staff of the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) have demanded that the darshan at the temple be suspended in view of a large number of staff testing positive for coronavirus.

The temples re-opened on June 11 after the countrywide lockdown was lifted. But only 12,000 devotees are allowed darshan a day.

TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy has rejected the plea of temple's honorary chief priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu and an employees' association to suspend the darshan as 140 staff have been detected corona-positive.

Hundred and forty employees at the TTD office and temple complex in Andhra Pradesh had tested positive for coronavirus since the temples re- opened after the lockdown was lifted.

Subba Reddy said 14 'archakas' (assistant priests), 16 workers in ladoo- making kitchens and 56 security personnel were among the infected. A total of of 70 have been cured and the rest are under treatment.

He said devotees will continue to be allowed entry to the temples. However, the limit of 12,000 per day will stay.

Meanwhile, the health department said two patients, one each from Kurnool and Anantapur districts, succumbed to coronavirus, taking the death toll to 86. Of the total number of 5,087 ocases, 2,770 have been discharged.





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