A 48-year-old priest of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) that manages the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at nearby Tirumala, succumbed to coronavirus here on Thursday.
After he tested positive for the contagion earlier this week, he was admitted to a state designated COVID care facility here, where he died this evening while undergoing treatment, a temple official told PTI.
The priest had been posted at the ancient shrine on the hills recently.
Since the hill temple was re-opened for devotees on June 11, at least 170 TTD staff members, including senior Pontiff of TTD Pedda Jeeyar Swamy Mutt, 16 'Archakas' (priests) were infected by the virus so far, he said.
A former head priest of TTD had died of coronavirus on July 20.
However, devotees are allowed to visit the shrine, the official added.