The Ahobilam temple in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district was shut down for devotees on Monday after a priest tested positive for COVID-19.
The Sri Ahobila Math Paramparadeena Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Devasthanam, the body which runs administration of the famous temple, said the shrine will remain closed for pilgrims till further orders.
The ‘math’ stated that one of the staff archakas (priests) had COVID-19, and hence the temple is closed temporarily as per the instruction of the 46th Jeeyar of Sri Ahobila Math, who is the hereditary trustee of the Ahobilam temple.
The math said the temple was temporarily closed for pilgrim worship considering the well-being of all and to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The temple authorities clarified that the daily rituals will continue to be performed for the presiding deities inside the main temple complex. However, devotees will not be allowed inside the temple until further orders from the 46th Jeeyar of Sri Ahobila Math.
Kurnool is one of the worst coronavirus-affected districts in the state. As of Sunday, there were 528 patients undergoing treatment in the district, only second to Krishna district which has 559 patients under treatment. So far, 34 people in the Kurnool have lost their lives to the disease.
A few days ago, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) shut down the Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple in Tirupati after an employee tested coronavirus positive. The temple was later reopened after screening of other employees who were in contact with him, and disinfection measures were carried out in the premises.
The Kanipakam temple in Chittoor district was also temporarily closed for two days, after a home guard working at the temple contracted the virus. The temple was closed to carry out disinfection work. In the same district, the Srikalahasti temple was temporarily closed after the priest contracted COVID-19. It was recently re-opened after initially allowing limited visitors.