Another priests tests positive for COVID-19 in Ayodhya, “Situation is worrying”, says head priest

With another priest testing positive for the novel Coronavirus, the head priest of the temple raises concerns over the health situation ahead of the Bhoomi Pujan.

With a few hours left to the majestic ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ for the inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, another priest at the temple tested positive for the novel Coronavirus. This news comes in two days before the scheduled bhoomi pujan for which government officials and BJP ministers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi are travelling to Ayodhya.

Prem Kumar Tiwari, an assistant priest at the temple, tested positive for the COVID-19 infection on Monday. Tiwari was a part of the team which conducts daily rituals at the Ram Mandir site, reported Hindustan Times.

This news from Ayodhya comes just a week after 15 policemen and a priest, at the Ram Mandir site, were tested positive for COVID-19. Pradeep Das, who performs daily rituals at the site of the temple, tested positive for the virus. However, Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, from the temple’s trust, assured that this news should not be a cause of worry. “There is nothing to worry about. One of the priests who performs daily rituals at the temple site has tested positive. The entire campus will be sanitized on a daily basis”, stated Mahant in a statement.

Alhtough, the head priest of the mandir, Satyendra Das, has expressed concern over the health situation at the site. “Of course it is worrying”, said the head priest when asked for a response on the situation. “I also have some other conditions and I am not a young man”, quoted Das in a statement. His concern was fueled with the fact that all priests stay in the same area as the ones that have been infected, thus increasing the vulnerability of catching the infection.

The construction of the temple, on the much conflicted site, has been a part of Bhartiya Janata Party’s manifesto and has been much awaited by the top leadership of the party. The ceremony would be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and many alike. The Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, will not be able to attend the ceremony as a result of testing positive for COVID-19 this Sunday.

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