Kerala bans temple festivals in containment zones

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Thiruvananthapuram: The state health department has banned temple festivals and related programmes in containment zones. Amid the growing concerns of COVID-19, the department restricted people above 65 years, children below 10 years, pregnant women and people suffering from any serious illness from participating in festivals, cultural programmes and rallies.

Prior permission of the health department is mandatory for conducting temple festivals, cultural programmes, exhibitions and rallies.

Dining together at festivals and other public programmes would not be allowed.

If public dining is carried out as per the ritual, the temple authority must ensure social distancing norms are strictly followed. The committee members should take the necessary measures to avoid crowding during temple festivals.

One metre distance between individuals must be strictly ensured. Positions should be marked to keep the social distance at the programmes.

Only a fixed number of people should be allowed in programmes held at closed places.

People with symptoms of COVID-19 should be identified with a check-up at the entrance of the events.

Those who are attending temple festivals are directed to observe their health condition for the next two weeks. If they develop any symptoms, they must inform the matter to health workers.

Routes of rallies and processions must be fixed and informed to the authority. Restrictions should be followed in the programmes which will be held for a couple of days.

Multiple entrance and exit points must be present at venues of programmes like exhibitions.

Devotees are restricted from touching idol and holy texts during religious ceremonies.

The health department also directed to avoid music bands for singing devotional songs at temple festivals and related ceremonies in containment zones.

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