JOHOR BARU: The Chingay festival, marking its 150th year, will go ahead despite the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
Johor Baru mayor Datuk Adib Azhari Daud said that as of now, the festival would be held from Feb 11 to Feb 15 as scheduled.
“However, with the current coronavirus situation, I will like to advise the public to take precautionary measures including wearing
appropriate masks to protect themselves from airborne diseases.
“Vendors who will be selling food during the parade should also ensure cleanliness and do their part to reduce the risk of spreading any disease," he added.
Adib Azhari said this in his speech during the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) full council meeting held here on Wednesday (Jan 29).
When contacted, the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association president Ho Sow Tong said about 40,000 people attended last year’s festival.
He added that the association was hoping to achieve similar numbers for this year’s festival but the public’s health is their main concern.
“Those that are unwell should not force themselves to attend the Chingay festival but should get medical attention first and have some rest at home, ” he added.
Ho also advised the public to get the correct information about the coronavirus from reliable sources such as the media and government announcements.
The Chingay festival has been held in the state annually since 1870 and is a special day to mark the end of the Chinese New Year for Johoreans.
It is one of the main tourism programs in Johor where thousands of locals and foreign tourists from various countries would attend the festival.
The festival takes place mainly on Jalan Wong Ah Fook in the city centre here. During the festival, deities worshipped by the five main Johor clans,
Teochew, Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese and Hainan, are taken on a 7.8km-long tour on foot to bless the city and its people.
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