Ahead of the ‘bhumi pujan’ ceremony on August 5, Acharya Satyendra Das, the chief priest of the Ram temple in Ayodhya has been sent to home quarantine after his assistant Pradeep Das tested positive for Covid-19 three days back.

Acharya Satyendra Das, said, “As one of my assistants, Pradeep Das, tested Covid positive on July 30, the trust has asked me not to enter Ram temple premises for three days. I will not be performing ‘bhumi pujan’ as other priests have been engaged for that ceremony.”

The Trust members declined to comment on the development.

Earlier, 16 policemen on duty at Ayodhya had also also tested positive for COVID-19 three days back.

The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has invited PM Modi to lay the foundation stone of the temple. Besides the PM, about 200 guests have been invited but around 50 are expected to attend the event. Most of them are likely to attend the event via video conferencing.

Apart from PM Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Nritya Gopal Das, chief of Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas are also likely to attend the ceremony.

Last Saturday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath had visited the Ram Janmabhoomi complex to review preparations for the August 5 event. Today as well he is visiting Ayodhya to check on the preparations.

Meanwhile, the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has appealed to followers of Lord Ram not to rush to Ayodhya for the ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony of Ram temple construction.

The trust has appealed to the followers to watch the ceremony on television and light a lamp in the evening to mark the occasion.

The trust said huge gatherings and participation in massive numbers would not be possible during the Corona pandemic.

The rituals for the ‘bhoomi pujan’ will begin on August 3 with a ‘Ganesh Gauri Puja’.

The trust has decided that the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya would have a height of 161 feet along with five domes. The temple would be modelled on the basis of the design proposed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad but its length, width, and height will be increased.

It would take around 3 and a half years to complete the construction of the temple.

The construction work has been delayed due to the Coronavirus-triggered lockdown and other issues.