Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath visited the Ram Janmabhoomi complex last week

New Delhi: Ahead of the much anticipated bhumi pujan (groundbreaking ceremony) for Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, a priest and 16 policemen on duty have tested positive for COVID-19, said reports.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the ceremony along with 50 VIPs on August 5.

According to reports, Pradeep Das, the assistant to the chief priest, said he has tested positive for the virus. Other four priests at the makeshift temple, including the head priest, have, however, all tested negative. Another 12 contacts of the priests have also tested negative.

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The policemen who tested positive were engaged in security duties at the Ram Janmabhoomi complex, the temple trust said.

Photos and videos from Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit from the Ram Janmabhoomi complex last week, shows him standing next to infected priest. The head was also seen standing next to the man.

According to reports, the Temple Trust said that the programme will go ahead as planned, maintaining all the safety rules for coronavirus.

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