The annual Ashada Bonalu celebration kick-started in Hyderabad on Sunday amid the COVID-19 pandemic with hundreds of devotees thronging the Goddess Jagadamba temple atop the historical Golconda fort. The festival will continue every Sunday till August 8.
However, amid fear of third wave of COVID-19, during the celebrations of the festival in Old City of Hyderabad, devotees were seen flouting covid norms as social distancing was not followed while many were seen without masks. The incident took place on Monday, people could be seen violating norms despite police trying to control the crowd. Take a look at this video shared by news agency ANI:
Bonalu is a Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the goddess Mahakali. The festival celebrations are predominantly observed in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Bonalu is celebrated to ward off diseases and usher in good health, peace and prosperity. A large number of women devotees offer 'bonam' (rice, cooked along with milk and jaggery)to the goddess. The 'bonalu' festival is celebrated usually during the Hindu calendar month of 'Ashada' that falls in July and August.
A similar incident was reported earlier in July, when Ministers Talasani Srinivas Yadav and Indrakaran Reddy were seen offering the golden bonam to Goddess Jagadambika at Golconda to the accompaniment of dancers, drums and music. Social distancing went for a toss as the venue that was seen brimming with people in visuals.
The Telangana government has sanctioned Rs15 crore for conducting the Bonalu festival. Necessary arrangements were made so that the festival is celebrated in strict compliance of COVID-19 guidelines. The Telangana government has accorded status of "state festival" to Bonalu after the formation of the new state in June 2014.
Meanwhile, a total of 591 new COVID-19 cases, 643 recoveries, and two deaths were recorded in Telangana on Monday till 5.30 pm, said the State Health Department. With the new cases reported, the cumulative number reached 6,45,997. The total number of recoveries now stands at 6,33,371 while the death toll reached 3,807.
In a report given by the State Health Department, the number of active cases currently stands at 8,819. Telangana's recovery rate stood at 98.04 per cent and the case fatality rate was 0.58 per cent.
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