Covid Scare: SJTA Urges Odisha Govt For Early Vaccination Of Puri Srimandir Servitors
Puri: As the doors of Puri Srimandir Thursday were thrown open for all devotees sans a COVID negative report, the Shree Jagannatha Temple Administration (SJTA) has written to the State Health department requesting to launch a special vaccination drive for servitors and other officials of the 12th-century shrine.
Now that the Covid negative report for darshan of the Lords is not mandatory and with a possibility of a surge in footfall of devotees, the SJTA mentioned in the letter that servitors are more prone to getting exposed to the coronavirus infection.
In view of this, the chief administrator of the temple has urged Odisha health department to consider the inclusion of Srimandir servitors and their family members for inoculation on a priority basis, so that daily rituals at the temple do not get affected. This apart, SJTA has urged the health department to also vaccinate around 500 temple officials who run the risk of contracting the virus during this period.
“Puri Jagannath Temple has been opened for the general public without insisting upon any Covid-19 negative certificate. It is expected that a large number of devotees will be visiting daily. The chances of the Sevayats getting infected with the virus cannot be ruled out as they will be coming in close contact of the devotees. For uninterrupted performance of different Nitis of the Lords inside the temple, it is suggested that all Sevayats and their families may please be vaccinated on a priority basis. Further, there are 500 temple officials who may also be vaccinated on priority,” SJTA stated.
The decision to seek the intervention of the State government in this regard was taken after the matter was discussed in the Chhatisa Nijog meeting.
The Puri district administration, police and SJTA are working together to ensure the safety of pilgrims while necessary arrangements have been made for smooth darshan of the Trinity.