Servitors, police personnel to undergo COVID-19 test ahead of Bahuda Jatra

Puri: The servitors and police personnel to be engaged during Bahuda Jatra 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 today.

Following the Supreme Court order and State Government’s directive for conduct of Ratha Jatra 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 Ratha Jatra, 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 Jatra, will also be tested to detect COVID-19 before the event. After success of Ratha Jatra, now Bahuda Jatra has become more challenging for us to prevent COVID infections in Puri. As per Supreme Court order and restrictions for Ratha Jatra, only those servitors and police personnel will test negative for COVID-19 will participate in the Bahuda Jatra 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 Ratha Jatra 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 Jatra.

“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 Ratha Jatra. 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 Jatra. 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.

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