As Ayodhya gears up for the grand foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Ram Temple on August 5 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the shadow of coronavirus lingers over the event after a priest and 16 security personnel tested positive for Covid-19.

Priest Pradeep Das, who has tested positive for coronavirus, is the ‘shishya’ of Acharya Satendra Das and is one of the four priests who performs puja regularly at the site.

Das has now been placed under home quarantine and contact tracing is being done. Some media personnel who interviewed Das earlier on Wednesday have also been a worried lot.

According to the most recent figures of the UP Health Department, 66 individuals tried positive for Covid-19 in Ayodhya on Wednesday. Till date, 605 individuals have been released from emergency clinics while there were 375 dynamic cases. Thirteen individuals have passed on in the area up until now.

Security arrangements in Ayodhya have been beefed up ahead of Modi’s visit. During this time, along with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, dignitaries from across the country will also be present. Ram Mandir Teerth Kshetra Trust is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the grandeur and publicity of the Bhoomi Poojan programme. Two waterproof ‘pandals’ and a small platform will also be built.
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