Tirumala removed from containment zone after ‘mistaken entry’

Darshan at temple will continue without any hindrance, clarifies Collector

Minutes after declaring Tirumala as a containment area the district authorities beat a quick retreat and excluded it from the list of COVID-19 containment zones allegedly buckling under pressure from various quarters.

The name of the sacred town was found in the (routine) list of containment areas in the district released by the authorities on Thursday. A section of electronic media picked up the news and repeatedly flashed it on the channels leading to a kind of commotion in the district. Questions started cropping up on the continuation of darshan at the Lord Venkateswara temple.

Informed sources said that the TTD authorities took a serious exception “at the lapse” and took the issue to the notice of senior officials.

Collector N. Bharat Gupta immediately clarified that it was owing to the oversight of the staff and directed the officials to issue a revised list removing the name of the town.

About 39 personnel belonging to the APSP barrack tested positive for coronavirus and instead of marking 200 metres from the barrack as a containment zone, in accordance with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines, the entire town was erroneously named in the list, he said.

The pilgrims need not have any doubt and could carry ahead with their pilgrimage as the TTD was strictly implementing the preventive measures like physical distancing and sporting of masks during the darshan of the deity he said.

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