Puri: With just three days away for the holy Ratha Jatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri amid pandemic, the COVID-19 testing of different servitors and others who will be engaged in the festival began today.
As many as 8,000 persons including 3,000 servitors of Lord Jagannath, 3,000 police personnel, 1,000 servitors engaged at chariot construction work and Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) staff will undergo the test for second time ahead of the car festival scheduled on July 12.
Beside, the testing will be done on 1,000 media persons and other government employees, who will be on Ratha Jatra duty in Puri.
The RT-PCR test will be conducted at seven testing centres in the pilgrim town.
As per the guidelines by the SJTA for conduct of the 9-day annual sojourn of Lord Jagannath, the servitors and others who will be taking part in various rituals during Ratha Jatra and its related events, will undergo COVID tests for four times to check spread of the deadly infection.
Accordingly, the servitors had undergone testing before Snana Jatra. Today, the COVID testing of servitors and others started for the second time 3 days before the Ratha Jatra.
Meanwhile, the Grand Road will be transformed into Green Zone for emergency services during the Ratha Jatra.
“The fire fighting vehicles and ambulances can ply in the green zone. The security will be tightened around the Gundicha Temple,” informed Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh.