COVID-19 protocols will be enforced strictly during the Attukal Pongala, District Collector Navjot Khosa has said.
She appealed to the public to cooperate with the arrangements put in place by the district administration in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Khosa said.
The Collector was reviewing the COVID-19 prevention measures at the temple and its surroundings.
The Pongala is on Saturday. In the wake of the pandemic situation, people should avoid offering Pongala by roadsides and in public places. The temple administration should also ensure this, the Collector said.
The Pongala will be offered only at the main hearth (‘pandara aduppu’) on the temple premises. Only minimum number of people should take part in the ritual by observing physical distancing and other COVID-appropriate behaviour, she said.
Those offering Pongala at their houses should also maintain physical distancing. They should also avoid visiting the temple in groups after offering Pongala at home, Ms. Khosa said.
The Collector directed the temple administration to make sure that those visiting the temple for daily rituals and other events did not crowd together.
Body temperature checks and use of sanitisers at the entry points to the temple should continue till the last day of the annual festival. Those coming to offer prayers should not stand together in groups. Children below the age of 10 should not be brought to the temple to the extent possible, the Collector said.
Six sectoral magistrates had been posted on special duty in the temple surroundings to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. Police personnel too had been deployed for regulating crowds, Ms. Khosa said.