Onam 2020: Kerala is trying to strike a balance between its biggest and most popular festival Onam and the novel coronavirus pandemic this year. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appealed to people to follow the guidelines for Onam celebrations amid the pandemic. Mr Vijayan has directed the District Collectors to convene a meeting of traders to ensure that all precautionary measures are followed.
"Onam celebrations this time should be limited inside the homes. The floral carpet should be made with locally available flowers as we cannot risk the spread of COVID-19 from flowers brought from other regions," Mr Vijayan said, adding that the focus should be to stop the spread of the virus and reduce the death rate.
Onam is celebrated in Kerala at the beginning of Chingam, the first month of the Malayalam solar calendar.
Onam 2020: Here are the COVID-19 guidelines
- Shops in the state will be open from 7 am to 9 pm
- The timings are applicable only in non-containment zones till September 2
- Fresh flowers for pookalams (traditional flower carpets) to be bought locally
- Public celebrations in the state will not be allowed
- Public gatherings for Onam Sadya are prohibited
- People have been advised to avoid non-essential travel
- Online shopping and home delivery have been encouraged
- Big markets and malls must have limited number of people at a time
- People must maintain strict social distance
- On Thiru Onam (August 31) - the main festival day - vigilance will be stepped up
- Health department to increase Covid-19 inspections as people visit the state from outside during Onam
- At hotels and restaurants, food safety officers will conduct regular inspections
Kerala has been one of the most successful states in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The state now has 64,355 cases and 41,690 people have recovered.
Wishing you a safe and Happy Onam 2020!
(Inputs from ANI & PTI)