Copy of PTI16-03-2020_000147B-1584458115974
Medics interact with Indonesian tourists at a Covid-19 helpdesk, in the wake of deadly coronavirus, at Hyderabad Gandhi Hospital on March 16. Image Credit: PTI

Hyderabad: The coronavirus pandemic and the consequent fear among people has not left any aspect of normal life untouched as the administration in Telangana has decided to cut the scale of a major annual Hindu festival.

Rama Navami, the celestial wedding of the deities Rama and Sita at an ancient temple in Bhadrachalam in Telangana will be celebrated this year without the presence of devotees. While hundreds of thousands of devotees used to attend the festival every year, the ceremony will be a simple affair this time. State minister P.Ajay Kumar told the media on Tuesday that the festival will be celebrated on April 2 within the premises of the Ram temple on the banks of Godavari river by the priests and some officials.

“The government in consultation with the priests has decided to celebrate the festival in a simple way without the participation of the general public as a precautionary measure to check the spread of coronavirus”, the minister said. The move came even as the state administration has already imposed large-scale restrictions, including the closure of schools, colleges, universities, malls, cinema halls and banned large gatherings. It has resulted in normally busy roads of Hyderabad becoming deserted, as people preferred to stay home.

So far the state has recorded four cases of coronavirus. However the state has not recorded any deaths so far.

In a reflection of grim situation 142-year old prestigious Secunderabad Club, catering to the elite of the city, was closed for the first time in its history. The club with 700 VIP members will remain shut till March 21.

Meanwhile the government was dealing with mischief-makers strictly. Police in Bhongir near Hyderabad have arrested three miscreants on the charges of spreading rumours of death of a person due to the virus. A Whatsapp group admin Shiva Kumar and two other members were arrested for spreading the fake news of death.