743 Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams staffers, priests test COVID-19 positive

Tirupati: As many as 743 staff of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) including some priests of the Lord Venkateswara shrine at Tirumala have tested positive for COVID-19 and three have succumbed to the virus since 11 June, a top TTD official said on Sunday.

Of the 743 infected, three employees succumbed, 402 personnel have recovered from infection while 338 people were undergoing treatment at different COVID care facilities here, TTD executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal told reporters here.

The famous Lord Venkateswara temple in nearby Tirumala governed by the TTD had reopened on 11 June for public after being close for two and a half months owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, he said.

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Singhal denied reports in sections of the media and on social media that TTD had reopened the hill shrine after the coronavirus lockdown for the public intending to fill its coffers.

He said the ancient temple was reopened on requests from devotees and entry was allowed by following strict COVID-19 measures.

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