Puri: The servitors and police personnel to be engaged during Bahuda Yatra in Puri will undergo COVID-19 test ahead of the event to contain possible spread of deadly virus, informed Srimandir Managing Committee Vice Chairman Suresh Chandra Mahapatra on Wednesday.
Following the Supreme Court order and State Government’s directive for conduct of Rath Yatra keeping COVID-19 spread in mind, COVID testing will be carried out in Puri town on a large scale.
The servitors, who are directly involved in the Rath Yatra, will undergo corona test in two rounds before the chariots take Dakhina Moda (south turn). The police personnel, who will pull the chariots during Bahuda Yatra, will also be tested to detect COVID-19 before the event. After success of Rath Yatra, now Bahuda Yatra has become more challenging for us to prevent COVID infections in Puri. As per Supreme Court order and restrictions for Rath Yatra, only those servitors and police personnel will test negative for COVID-19 will participate in the Bahuda Yatra of Lord, Jagannath, Mahapatra told media.
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) will take responsibility of conducting COVID test on servitors and police personnel.
Besides, the employees of different departments including SJTA staff and sanitary workers deployed on Bada Danda (Grand Road) and associated with Rath Yatra event in Puri yesterday, all will be tested, Mahapatra said.
Meanwhile, SJTA has decided to procure an additional 5000 face masks for servitors, who will be engaged during Bahuda Yatra.
“We have ordered to procure 5000 more face masks from Boyanika for servitors to protect them from corona. Also, we have decided to provide adequate sanitisers to families of servitors engaged during Rath Yatra. A special health centre will be set up engaging a medicine specialist, one MBBS doctor and other staff for medical check-up of the participants in Bahuda Yatra. The State Government will bear all the expenses of the health centre specifically for safety of the servitors and their families,” said SJTA Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar.
In view of COVID infections in Puri, all the guidelines set by the government will be strictly followed during the event, he further said.