Thrissur Pooram’s annual expo suspended after 18 people test positive for coronavirus

The Thrissur Pooram this year will be held as a ritual event without the public participation.
File image of Thrissur Pooram exhibition
File image of Thrissur Pooram exhibition
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Eighteen people including traders and staff at the annual exhibition held as part of Thrissur Pooram tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Tuesday. Following this, the exhibition has been called off, reports Mathrubhumi News. The tests were held as part of the COVID-19 test drive for the upcoming Thrissur Pooram on April 23. The exhibition is held every year as a precursor to the Thrissur Pooram fest, at the Thekkinkadu Maidan. Several stalls were set up for the expo.

As per reports, the Health Department is tracking down the contacts of the people who tested positive for the coronavirus. Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, Thrissur Pooram, which is the largest temple festival in Kerala in terms of participants, will be held as a ritual only event with no participation of the public. Traditionally, lakhs of people attend the Thrissur Pooram, a massive fest that showcases numerous caparisoned elephants, percussion artists performance, held on the grounds of Vadakkunnathan temple every year.

Due to COVID-19, the fest was held as a ritual only event last year as well. This year, though it was initially decided to ensure restricted public participation, it was later announced that only organisers would attend the rituals this time.

The Thrissur district administration has also released a set of guidelines for the devaswoms, who runs the participating temples in the pooram. All the organisers and other official participants of Pooram, including journalists, should either produce COVID-19 negative certificates or should have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccination.

The Thiruvambady Devaswom has announced that it would conduct its rituals with the participation of only one elephant, while the Paramekkavu Devaswom has announced it would use 15 elephants for the pooram.

The famous Ilanjithara Melam, the noted percussion performance held under the ‘Ilanji tree’ at the courtyard of the Vadakkunnathan Temple, will be held during the Pooram. While, ‘Kudamattam’, which is the exchange of decorated umbrellas, will be held symbolically.

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