Govt to modify Covid testing method for Sabarimala pilgrimage season
Pathanamthitta: The state government is mulling a change in the Covid testing method during the Sabarimala pilgrimage season. The move comes in the wake of three persons, including a policeman and devotees, who came for the monthly puja in Thulam at Ayyappa temple here, testing Covid positive despite having a negative certificate.
The discussions with health experts are underway.
During the reopening of the temple for devotees during the Thulam monthly puja, devotees carrying a Covid negative certificate issued within 48 hours were exempted from antigen test held at Nilakkal here. But, 3 persons, who had the Covid negative certificate, tested positive during the 5-day pilgrimage. The policeman displayed the symptoms while on his duty at Pamba. His source of infection was unidentified.
Doctors also pointed out the risk in allowing entry to everyone carrying the certificate without testing.
The recommendations being put forward by experts are RT-PCR test instead of antigen test for devotees and antigen test for devotees carrying Covid negative certificate.