Kerala has decided to prohibit the public from attending the Thrissur Pooram - the famous temple festival held on the grounds of Vadakkunathan temple in Thrissur - 24 hours after state Health Minister KK Shailaja told NDTV that the festival will be held as planned.
The state government had earlier given permission for the Pooram to be held this year on April 23 with public gathering, saying Covid negative certificates will be mandatory for those attending.
However, this year Thrissur Pooram will be held as a ritual with only organisers and affiliated key people in attendance and they will be screened online.
Even in 2020, the public was not allowed to attend the festival due to the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. Usually, lakhs of devotees attend this temple festival in Thrissur.
Kerala has been reporting a steep rise in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks. On Monday, the state recorded 13,644 new cases from 87,375 samples. The test positivity rate is at 15.63 per cent.
Kerala's ICU occupancy currently is 56.9%, with Thrissur and Idukki recording more than 70% occupancy. In terms of ventilator usages, 17.8% of ventilators are occupied with 31.5& patients on ventilator in Thiruvananthapuram.
The state government has also decided to impose a night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am, starting tomorrow. The restrictions are unlikely to affect vehicular movement and focus on restricting gathering of people.