Puri: Considering the surge in COVID-19 cases in Odisha and sevayats returning from Haridwar Kumbh Mela testing positive for the virus, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration has formed a 7-member committee to make preparations for the annual Rath Yatra.
At a meeting of the SJTA officials, headed by Dr Krishan Kumar, it was decided to begin the process of identifying the servitors to be involved in the process.
The newly-formed team will track, check and ensure testing of servitors to be involved in the annual festival (chariot construction) besides the events preceding the Rath Yatra, after examining their health condition. The family members of selected servitors too will have to undergo the required tests.
With the annual events like Chandan Yatra, Akshay Tritiya and other such events set to be celebrated next month, it was also decided to vaccinate all the servitors above the age of 18 in the new phase of inoculation which is scheduled to start from May 1.
With the rise in COVID cases, a meeting of the SJTA scheduled on Saturday will decide on a new set of standard operating procedures for the devotees, the SJTA chief added.