Amid COVID outbreak among servitors, Lord Jagannath's chariot construction begins in bio-bubble

With 10 more persons testing positive for COVID-19, the number of such servitors increased to 18.

Published: 21st May 2021 11:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st May 2021 11:51 PM   |  A+A-

Religious activities this year took a beating too. One, that was very evident during famous Puri’s Jagannath annual Rath Yatra that drew a significantly lesser crowd due to the then restrictions in place.

Representational Image. (Photo | EPS)


PURI: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Friday started chariot construction activities at 'Ratha Khala' (chariot yard) in the highly protected bio-bubble, official sources said.

With 10 more persons testing positive for COVID-19, the number of such servitors increased to 18.

However, none of the COVID-19 positive servitors had so far entered into the Ratha Khala, Puri district collector Sarthak Verma told reporters.

He said the district administration introduced the bio-bubble system.

"The bio-bubble has been ensured at Ratha Khala site. Only authorised personnel are allowed inside the site. Specific police arrangement and barricading has been done for that, reviewed the security arrangement at Ratha Khala site, Puri SP said in his official twitter post.

The bio-bubble is an arrangement where the people can work safely without interference of outsiders.

The people are protected as all the persons entering the bio-bubble zone must be COVID-19 negative.

Once a servitor report for duty, the SJTA first takes his sample and he stays in isolation at Shree Gundicha Bhakta Niwass till arrival of the test results.

"If test report comes negative, then only he is allowed to enter the Ratha Khala or sent to COVID-19 facility. A COVID-19 negative report is mandatory to enter into the bio-bubble zone," an SJTA official said.

The decision on adopting the bio-bubble technique was taken after eight servitors tested positive for the virus recently.

"The bio-bubble will keep the servitors, who are engaged in construction of chariots, safe from COVID-19 infection as they will not come in contact with outsiders. Only those associated with the chariot construction work will be allowed to enter the bio-bubble starting today", said the district collector.

He said inside the bio-bubble, thermal screening of the servitors are being regularly conducted and they will undergo the test frequently.

Construction of the chariots began on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya on May 15 for the Lord's annual car festival on July 12.


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