The president of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, who was seen standing next to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.
According to officials, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das complained of breathlessness Thursday morning following which a Covid-19 conducted and his result came in positive. He has been shifted to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, an official said.
“We were told by ashram members that the priest is having some problems breathing. A team of doctors was rushed and check-up done. There was no fever and his oxygen levels were normal. An antigen test was performed, which came in positive. The Chief Minister is observing every movement and a team has been sent with Gopal Das ji in an ambulance for his admission to Medanta Hospital. The team consists of a magistrate as well. Presently, he is stable,” said Mathura district magistrate S R Mishra.
Hailing from Mathura, the 82-year-old priest heads Ram Janmbhoomi Nyas and Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, which are overlooking construction of the Ram temple. On August 5, he was one of the invitees in the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony. Pictures of the event show him standing in close proximity of Prime Minister Modi, Chief Minister Adityanath and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Ayodhya CMO Dr Ghanshyam Singh told The Indian Express that most people who attended the August 5 event, including mediapersons, were either tested for Covid-19 or they gave written confirmation that they have undergone a test and tested negative. However, he could not give an exact number of the tests conducted.
Heir to Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Kamal Nayan Das, said Nritya Gopal did not undergo a test before Thursday.
The August 5 event in Ayodhya was attended by around 175 people, including 135 sants.
The medical Department of Mathura administration has started preparing a list of close contacts of the priest. “At this point, we do not know the exact number of primary and secondary contacts. The doctor tasked with preparing the list is currently with the priest. The ashram in which he stayed will be sanitised and other priests living there quarantined. We are expecting a long list since the priest went to Ayodhya and then came back to Mathura,” said Chief Medical Officer, Mathua, Dr Sanjeev Yadav.
On Wednesday night, the priest attended Janmashtami celebrations at Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura’s Deeg Marg and performed rituals with fellow priests. He also heads Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Nyas in Mathura. —With ENS, Lucknow