PURI: The exercise to test 3,300 servitors involved in Rath Yatra rituals for COVID-19 started on Thursday. The servitors will be tested in next four days.
Three centres - Markendeswar Sahi Girls High School, Utkal Hindi Vidyapith and Bagadia Dharmashala - have been opened to collect swab samples of servitors. On the day, as many as 900 samples were collected.
Apart from servitors, employees of the Sri Jagannath Temple, OTDC staff who are providing food to servitors in isolation and other personnel connected with the fete. Five health teams have been engaged by the chief district medical officer to collect samples.
Besides, hundreds of police personnel engaged in Rath Yatra duty will be tested for coronavirus. Swab samples of 500 cops have already been collected and sent for test. More tests will be conducted in the coming days.
Meanwhile, various kinds of delicacies were offered to Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra at the Adapa Mandap of Gundicha temple on the day.
The schedule commenced with Mangala Alati followed by Mailama and Abakash, Tadaplagi. The deities were dressed in a special attire following which Gopal Bhog was offered. At noon, Dwiprahardhup, popularly called Adapa Abhada was served to the deities.
Since people cherish the desire to have Adapa Abhada, the administration in consultation with Suaras (temple cooks) made special provisions for sale of the Mahaprasad to devotees.
Those wishing to buy the Mahaprasad would be issued a token. Two spots have been identified outside Gundicha temple where the Supakaras would open extended delivery counters.
Devotees could get tokens for the deposit they make with the administration. As per arrangements, Suaras or their employees would sell the Mahaprasad at the designated spots near the temple.
Members of Suara Nijog informed that devotees can book Adapa Abhada through two phone numbers - 9040049486 and 9861451825. While servitors will deliver the Mahaprasad in the city, the devotee has to bear the transport cost if the delivery is outside Puri.
Earlier on Wednesday late evening, the Gundicha temple area was sanitised after Pahandi. Curfew was also enforced around the temple area.