Even as the country is grappling with the menace of coronavirus, thousands of devotees in Kerala brazenly violated the guidelines mandated by the state government to avoid large gatherings and participated in the traditional procession ‘Arattu’ held at Malayinkeezhu Sree Krishna Swami Temple in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.
Kerala: A traditional procession ‘Arattu’ was organised at Malayinkeezhu Sree Krishna Swami Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, yesterday. Hundreds of people participated in the procession by violating guidelines, issued to avoid large gatherings. Police probing the matter. pic.twitter.com/powjPcSEWM— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2020
Arattu (Holy Bath) is a part of the rituals of the festivals in most of the major temples in Kerala. This ritual marks an end of the festival at the temple and in which the priest takes the Deity form of the god with him and takes a bath in Holy Water.
Hundreds and thousands of devotees attended the event while the number of coronavirus cases across the country is steadily on the rise. The devotees displayed shocking disregard of the government decree proscribing large public gathering. The local police have taken cognisance of the matter and an investigation has been ordered in the case.
It is noteworthy to mention that just a day ago on Thursday, PM Modi had urged the countrymen to exercise restraint in venturing out in public places, much less crowded places. PM Modi had also called for observing “Janta Curfew” on March 22, 2020, as an attempt to stem the ominous rise of coronavirus cases in the country.
However, paying no heed to the Prime Minister of the country and in flagrant disregard of the state government’s enforced strictures, a large number of devotees assembled at the Sree Krishna Swami Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, posing a severe threat of community transmission of the novel coronavirus in the state which has so far reported about 37 cases.
As the country is grappling with the scourge of novel coronavirus, many state governments, including the Kerala government had ordered the cancellation of public gatherings and enforced strict lockdown to curtail the spread of the disease. Almost all places of worship in the state, including the iconic Guruvayur temple, have shut their doors to the devotees following strict directions from the Kerala government.