In the wake of the alertness for Coronavirus, the Attukal Pongala festival of Kerala would be held under a strict vigil of health workers. This 10-day festival is celebrated at the heart of the city at the Attukal Temple.
More than three million women gather in the temple for the festivities. The women prepare a mixture of rice, jaggery, coconut, and ghee, which is offered to the goddess.
The festival is considered the largest conglomeration of women.
There were proposals of dropping the event amid 5 more people testing positive of Coronavirus in the state. The idea was later dismissed, as the authorities apprehended it would create a scare among common people.
The Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has advised the ones with cold and fever to stay away from the festivities and gatherings.
At a press meet on Sunday, the minister said, “Irresponsible behavior will be dealt with sternly.”
The Health Minister also visited the temple monitoring the situation.
With nine confirmed cases already and a high population count, the state is taking rigid steps to keep a check, as any leniency would lead to the paying of a huge price.
K Gopalakrishnan district collector of Thiruvananthapuram urged foreign devotees to perform the rituals at the hotel “to contain infection if any.”
An emergency meeting was held at the Cochin International Airport following the identification of the three infected people. They traveled from Doha in Qatar Airways. The three persons were screened at the airport as per the government’s protocol but were found not infected.
A list of 350 passengers was handed over to the Health Ministry by the Airport Authorities.
In the Pathanamthitta district, all public gatherings would be called off given the coronavirus threat. P B Nooh District collector has requested the cooperation of the common man to stop the infection from spreading further.