National

Kerala celebrates Attukul Pongala festival amid coronavirus scare

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 09, 2020 Published on March 09, 2020

Devotees offering prayers before lighting the fire at the annual Attukal Pongala festival in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on Monday. Photo: S.Gopakumar/The Hindu

Millions of women in Kerala have assembled to celebrate the Attukul Pongala festival, which is considered as the largest gathering of women, amid coronavirus panic in the state. Six fresh cases have been confirmed -- including a 3-year-old toddler -- in Kerala since Sunday. Several women, participating in the festivity, were seen wearing masks, as per media reports.

In Thiruvananthapuram, the heart of the Attukal Pongala festivity, women from neighbouring states have also participated.

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja had dismissed to call off the festival on Sunday over the coronavirus scare that has gripped the state.

Last month, three people suffering from coronavirus in Kerala -- first ones to get infected in the country -- had recovered. However, fresh cases erupted on Sunday when five members of a family tested positive. Three of them with travel history to Italy did not disclose it and infected others in the family, News18 reported.

Kerala Health Minister has urged people who are dealing with respiratory problems to not come out in public places.

According to Thiruvananthapuram District Collector K Gopalakrishnan, several measures have been put in place to control the spread.

As a precautionary measure, twenty-three medical teams, 40 ambulances including bike ambulances will be positioned across Thiruvananthapuram. Local authorities will monitor specific areas in the city that are prone to the spread of the disease. They will also keep track of people’s health conditions.

He said to News18: "Devotees will be under video surveillance and all hotels have been asked to arrange Pongala facilities for foreigners within their premises. Near the temple- we will have a regular announcements, and equipment will be sanitized regularly.

Published on March 09, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.