By Asia Samachar | SINGAPORE |
Singapore’s largest Vaisakhi event will not be taking place this year due to the coronovirus infections.
The Vesakhi Mela 2020, one of the signature annual events anchored by the Singapore Khalsa Association (SKA), was earlier planned for April 11-12.
SKA president Hernaikh Singh said the event was cancelled to help the nation combat the virus Covid-19.
“It was a really difficult decision as much planning and effort have been put in by the organising committees for these events as well as the fact that our members and the larger community were looking forward to these events. However, we feel that they will understand and appreciate the rationale behind our decision,” he said in a message sent to Asia Samachar.
Some 4,000 people were expected to attend the two-day event which included sporting competitions and fun games. In the pipeline were new simulator and augmented reality (AR) games.
On Feb 7, Singapore increased the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level to Orange, one notch below top level of Red. Since January, it has implemented a series of measures, including travel restrictions.
As of this morning (Feb 28), Singapore has recorded 96 cases of Covid-19. As at Feb 25, 33 who were still in hospital and seven in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
In a meeting on Feb 15, Singapore Sikh institutions and gurdwaras agreed looked at a number of potential ‘key measures’ to control the spread of Covid-19. These included taking precautionary measures, including screening staff temperature and wearing gloves and masks when preparing food.
In a one-page guideline issued by the Co-ordinating Council of Sikh Institutions (CCSI), it urged gurdwaras to be on a heightened alert but noted that programmes would proceed. It made some suggestions on attendance and participation, darbar sahib (prayer hall), langgar lall (commuity kitchen), and general cleanliness and hygiene.
Earlier, SKA had also announcement the postponement of its cultural night for 2020 planned for 22 Feb which was supposed to feature a Sydney-based musician famous for his ‘tumbi’ and folk songs. It had also cancelled its Family Day planned for 21 March.
“When the situation improves, we do plan to organise several social, cultural and sport events,” said Hernaikh.
Singapore minister to join thousands at SKA Vaisakhi event (Asia Samachar, 12 April 2019)
Singapore gurdwaras take measures to fight coronavirus (Asia Samachar, 16 Feb 2020)