Senior pontiff of the Shree Pedda Jeeyar Swamy Mutt of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) that governs the shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala, near here, has tested positive for coronavirus.
Speaking to PTI on Friday, chairman of the TTD Board Y V Subba Reddy said the 63-year-old seer was to be shifted to a corporate hospital in Chennai but he declined and expressed his wish to take treatment at the mutt itself.
As per a centuries-old custom, the seer has been observing a four-month-long 'Chaturmasya Deeksha' since Sunday last, so he preferred to remain here and get treatment, Reddy said. The pontiff's health condition is, however, stable, the chairman said.
Since the temple was re-opened for devotees on June 11, about 160 TTD staff members, including 16 'archakas' (priests) were infected by the virus so far, he said.
Nevertheless, the devotees can still visit the shrine, he added.