Arrangements in place to check COVID-19 at Sabarimala

Five emergency medical centres along the Pampa-Sannidhanam route

PATHANAMTHITTA From supplying medicinal water to arranging hand sanitisers and disinfecting the premises using chlorinated water, a new set of arrangements have been rolled out at Sabarimala for the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season that began on Monday.

According to Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran, preparations have been made in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol and in accordance with the directions of the Kerala High Court.

A counter has been opened near the Ganapati Kovil at Pampa for supplying medicinal water. The water will be supplied in one-litre stainless steel containers, which could be refilled at Charalmedu, Jyothinagar and Malikappuram. Devotees have to remit a caution deposit of ₹20 and this would repaid on returning the container.

Spots have been marked at the Sannidhanam, including Valiyanadapanthal, lower and upper Thirumuttam, Malikappuram, prasadam counters and Annadana Mandapam, to ensure physical distancing. The devotees can wash their legs and use hand sanitisers at the beginning of Valiyanadapanthal.

Disinfection

The Annadana Mandapam, Devaswom mess, police mess and bhandaram will be disinfected with the thermal vaporisation fogging machine. Toilets too will be disinfected.

Sanitiser dispensers operated by foot have been installed at 23 spots and those with sensors will be installed at the counter for receiving coconuts filled with ghee, staff gate and in front of the executive office. Bins have been placed for dumping face masks and gloves.

Five emergency medical centres have been set up along the route from Pampa to the Sannidhanam, besides two control rooms by the Forest Department. The Health Department has deployed 20 ambulances while the Department of Ayurveda has set up temporary dispensaries at Pampa, Erumely and the Sannidhanam. The Ayyappa Seva Sangham has eight structures and 60 volunteers.

Meanwhile, the Minister made a scathing attack on the communal forces who allegedly attempted to thwart the pilgrimage at the hill shrine through online and local media.

Earlier in the day, the Minster reviewed the arrangements done by various agencies for the pilgrimage. N.Vasu, president of the Travancore Devaswom Board, TDB Commissioner BS Thirumeni, Inspector General of Police S Sreejith, Sannidhanam Special Officer b. Krishnakumar and others participated.

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