TTD priest, official die of COVID

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Tirupati, Apr 30 (PTI) A 60-year-old priest attached to the Padmavathi shrine at Tiruchanur in Tirupati died of COVID-19 at a private hospital in Chennai on Friday, a TTD official said.

The TTD priest, MG Ramachandran, had tested positive for Coronavirus about ten days ago and he was immediately admitted to a hospital in Chennai.

But he died today, the official told PTI, adding that on Thursday, K Nagaraja, a TTD Deputy Executive Officer, Pilgrim Free Meal Trust, too died of COVID.

During the second wave of Coronavirus, about 15 TTD staffers have died due to COVID at different hospitals here and elsewhere, he said.

Over 100 TTD personnel contracted the virus during the second wave, he said.

Of them, about 25 staffers are getting treated at the TTD run Sri Venkateswara Medical Sciences Super Speciality Hospital here. Those who had mild symptoms were being treated at their home and other private hospitals, he added.

Today the sacred Hundi (offering Box) at the hill temple of Lord Venkateswara had netted the lowest cash offerings of about Rs 62 lakh with a devotee footfall of about 9,600, the official said.

The hundi, which normally nets about Rs 3 crore daily with a pilgrim inflow of about 70,000-one lakh devotees, has started fetching less over the last two weeks following COVID related restrictions in Tirupati and elsewhere in the country, he said.PTI COR BN BALA BN BALA