Kerala

Sabarimala pilgrim tests COVID positive

A 57-year-old pilgrim bound for the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Pathanamthitta tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on Sunday.

The person, a native of Chittur district in Andhra Pradesh tested positive during an antigen test held at the COVID-19 testing centre in Nilackal. As the person was asymptomatic, he has been admitted to a COVID first-line treatment centre (FLTC) in Perinad.

A 24-year-old pilgrim who had accompanied him tested negative. He was shifted to a COVID care centre for observation.

Antigen test

“The duo had come from Andhra Pradesh via Chennai by train. After alighting at Chengannur, they took a taxi to Nilackal. They were subjected to antigen test as the certificate that proved them negative for the disease had been issued four days earlier,” said R. Santosh, Deputy District Medical Officer, Pathanamthitta.

Since Saturday, officials have tested 211 people, including 168 pilgrims, across the three testing centres at Pampa and Nilackal. Of these, only one person has tested positive so far.

Besides the testing centres, three casualty units, one each at Nilackal, Pampa, and Sannidhanam too have been set up to address medical emergencies.

Strict restrictions

In view of the COVID-19 situation, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has laid down strict directives for the pilgrims to follow during the temple’s opening for five days, starting from October 17.

The number of pilgrims has been restricted to 250 a day. All are required to produce a certificate testing negative for COVID-19, 48 hours before reaching Pampa.

They are also required to follow designated paths to reach Sannidhanam and return to Pampa while a blanket ban has been imposed on overnight stay of pilgrims at Sannidhanam.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 2:18:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sabarimala-pilgrim-tests-covid-positive/article32890070.ece

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