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Ram Janmabhoomi head, who shared stage with Modi, tests Covid positive

Lucknow/ Mathura: More than a week after he shared the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 'bhoomi pujan' of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Ram Janmabhoomi Trust chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Das tested positive for novel Coronavirus on Thursday.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel were also among the top leaders who were present at the event on August 5.

In a statement on Thursday, the Uttar Pradesh government said the Chief Minister has spoken to Mathura District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Mishra and has urged Dr Naresh Trehan of Medanta Hospital, Gurugram, to provide immediate medical attention to the priest.

"Honorable CM has taken details of the health status of Mahant Nritya Gopal Dasji who has been tested positive for Covid. He has spoken to DM Mathura and his followers and to Dr Trehan of Medanta and requested for immediate medical attention for Mahantji at Medanta. He has directed DM Mathura to provide all possible support for providing best possible medical attention," the statement read.

"Fever is normal as of now. He was having some slight breathing issues. Nothing serious as of now. He underwent an antigen test and was found positive. The Chief Minister has asked authorities to shift him to Medanta Hospital. He is stable," said DM Sarvagya Mishra.

"A team of doctors tested him for COVID-19 after the district administration was informed in the morning that he was feeling uneasy," he added.

Das, who is also the president of the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Nyas, was at the Sri Krishna Janmasthan in Mathura till 1.30 am. He had performed the 'abhishek' of the deity at the Bhagwat Bhavan from 11 pm to 1 am, Gopeshwar Nath Chaturvedi, a member of the Sri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan, said, adding that till then, he had not complained about his health.

Das heads the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, a trust constituted by the Centre for the construction and management of the Ram temple.

Last week, the Prime Minister laid the foundation for the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Days before the ceremony, a priest, Pradeep Das, and 14 policemen on duty in the Ram Janmabhoomi complex had also tested positive for Coronavirus.

Meanwhile, with a record single-day increase of 66,999 cases, India's COVID-19 tally mounted to 23,96,637 on Thursday, while the number of patients who have recovered from the disease surged to 16,95,982, pushing the recovery rate to 70.77 per cent in the country, according to the Union Health ministry.

The death toll due to COVID-19 climbed to 47,033 with 942 people succumbing to the disease in the last 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed. The case fatality rate in the country has declined to 1.96 per cent.

There are 6,53,622 active COVID-19 cases in the country presently, which account for 27.27 per cent of its total caseload.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 2,68,45,688 samples were tested in the country till August 12, including 8,30,391 on Wednesday, the highest number of tests performed in a day.

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