Taking into consideration the emergence of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has advised against conducting the annual Thaipusam celebration on a massive scale next year.

MMA President Prof Datuk Dr. Subramaniam Muniandy said that with the massive gathering of devotees and public who will throng the temples for the celebration would find it difficult to adhere to the standard operating procedures ( SOPs).

Thaipusam falls on 28th January next year, but devotees will make preparations as early as three months prior to the day to fulfil their vows to deity Lord Murugan.

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Due to the large number of participants, it would be difficult for them to follow the SOPs, such as taking body temperatures, tracking attendance and practising safe social distancing.
“The Thaipusam celebration held massively in Batu Caves would see the participation of over a million devotees and surely the crowd control could become unmanageable and ultimately endanger the health and safety of attendees, mainly the devotees,” he told Bernama.
Dr. Subramaniam urged the temple management committee and the government to make an announcement early before the devotees begin their preparations to fulfil their vows, such as making the Kaavadi and so on.
Picture Credit: Calvin Chan

In the meantime, the Chairman of Malaysia’s Hindu Sangam Datuk R.S Mohan Shan, stated that the Thaipusam celebration for next year would depend on the Covid-19 situation and the government’s decision.

Let’s hope that, considering the coronavirus outbreak, devotees will pray for a joyous year. Do not neglect to follow basic hygiene practices such as hand sanitising, as it will minimise one’s risk of contacting the deadly virus. 

Source: Bernama