Priests, staff of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple test positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Entry of devotees to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple has been banned till October 15 after 10 persons, including the chief priest and joint chief priest of the temple, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
With some supporting staff and two guards of the temple too testing positive, authorities decided to restrict the entry of devotees from Friday. The joint chief priest was the first to test positive.
Tantri Tharanallur Satheesan Namboodiripad will perform pujas in the meanwhile, according to temple chief executive officer V. Ratheesan.
The authorities are hopeful of opening the temple to devotees on October 16, a day before the idols of Goddess Saraswati from Padmanabhapuram Thevarakkett, Kumaraswamy from Velimalai Murugan temple and Munnuttinanga from Sthanumalayan temple in Suchindram reach the Navaratri mandapam in front of the temple for Navaratri celebrations.
The 10-day Alpashi festival is scheduled to commence on October 15 and the Tantri and the temple authorities will have to take a call on it.
The 10-day Painkuni festival, scheduled to commence on March 30 and deferred due to the spurt in COVID-19 cases, was held from September 10 in a low-key manner.
Five security commandos, a police officer in the technical wing and three employees had tested positive for SARS-COV-2 in July.
The temple, which was out of bounds for devotees from March 21 following the pandemic-induced lockdown, opened on August 26.