COVID-19: Attending the Attukal Pongala? Here are instructions from the Kerala government

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala’s Health Department has announced a set of instructions to devotees attending the Attukal Pongala festival.

Health Minister KK Shailaja has asked devotees with symptoms of Covid-19 or those who are at the risk of infection not to attend the festival.

Persons at risk include those who had a recent travel history to countries where Covid-19 was reported.

Those who had close contact with such returnees are also requested to abstain from the ritual.

Foreigners who have come to perform the ritual should make the offering at their place of residence, be it a house or hotel.

“Any person with travel history to COVID19-affected countries or persons with contact with such a traveller, whether they are having symptoms or not, must remain in home isolation and do pongala prayers at their respective places of stay,” said a statement from DISHA, government’s health information service.

“The self-isolation is the real prayer for the good of the community, their family and themselves,” it added.

A total of 23 medical teams will be deployed for surveillance of the festival area. Rapid action teams and ambulances will also be arranged.

INSTRUCTIONS TO DEVOTEES

1. Do not touch hand railings as far as possible

2. Wash your hands after touching common places like railing

3. Use handkerchief while coughing/ sneezing

4 Don’t rush for darshan, go in the queue by keeping at least one arm distance from the person behind and in front

5. Avoid social greetings by touching. Avoid hugs and handshakes

6. Don’t touch your face, nose and eyes with unwashed hands

7. Persons with cough, fever, breathing difficulty or any chronic disease like chronic kidney or liver disease, diabetes, heart disease etc must avoid the temple visit or pongala. They should take rest at home. 

For more information, contact DISHA over 0471255 2056

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