Over 400 servitors and employees of the Jagannath temple have tested positive for Covid-19 on September 28.
Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Administrator (Development) Ajay Kumar Jena speaking to media said that nine of these patients have succumbed to the virus, 16 are undergoing treatment at the Covid-19 hospital in Odisha’s capital city Bhubaneswar while most of the servitors who tested positive are in home isolation as there is a shortage of servitors to perform rituals.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government has submitted these details in a counter-affidavit to the Orissa High Court over its unwillingness to open the gates of temples for devotees amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Of 822 samples collected from servitors/officials of Puri Srimandir, 379 have tested positive for Covid-19. Despite the grim situation, rituals of Lord Jagannath are underway without pause, but these may be disrupted in case of more infection,” the counter-affidavit stated.