THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government gave permission to organise a slew of festivals including Thrissur Pooram ahead of the assembly polls eyeing votes without taking note of the possible rise in Covid cases after the elections.
Interestingly, the decision has resulted in Sree Koodalmanikyam temple in Irinjalakuda organising last year’s cancelled 11-day festival and this year’s festival in less than a month.
With the pandemic situation changing and test positivity rate rising, health officials have warned that if these festivals are organised without adhering to the protocol, the state would witness a sharp surge in cases.
A senior officer at the Directorate of Health Services, on condition of anonymity, said, “The administrative permission for festivals like Thrissur Pooram was given without even asking the medical reports or assessing the ground realities. During the last week of March, the test positivity in Thrissur was a mere 1.81 per cent which has now jumped to 9.4 per cent. There are two more weeks left for Thrissur Pooram and the TPR will double by that time.”
If festivals like pooram which attract lakhs of people are organised without adhering to Covid protocol, the situation would be hazardous.
“Suppose two lakh people throng Thrissur for pooram on April 23, the TPR will shoot up and it will spell doom for these people. That will be the case of all festivals for which the state government had given permission before the polls,” he said.
Koodalmanikyam Devaswom was given permission to hold its last-year’s festival which was cancelled this year. The festival was organised from March 28 to April 7.
And this year’s festival will be held from April 24 to May 4.