Puri Jagannath Temple servitor tests Covid positive as Rath Yatra gets underway

A servitor of Puri Jagannath Temple has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, informed Puri District Collector Balwant Singh on Tuesday. The news came amid a curtailed Rath Yatra underway in Puri after the Supreme Court gave in to Centre and Odisha’s request, partially lifting its last weeks complete ban on the festival.

Covid 19 tests of 1,143 servitors were undertaken on Monday as per the direction of Supreme Court ahead of the Rath Yatra. Except for one all were found negative.

“Confirm case has been shifted to Covid Hospital before Rath Yatra rituals. Contact tracing is being done and the area has been contained,” said the Puri district administration in a tweet.

Notably, the servitors shall be permitted to participate in the festival and pull the chariot only if they have tested negative for COVID-19.