GEORGE TOWN: Penang is all geared up to handle about two million visitors who are expected here for the double celebration of Thaipusam and Chap Goh Meh.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said in view of the crowd of about 1.3 million people expected for Thaipusam and a few thousand more for the Chap Goh Meh celebration on Saturday, several major roads are expected to be affected tomorrow with police deploying more than 1,300 policemen to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
“The crowd will be concentrated more along Jalan Utama leading to the temples rather than at the Esplanade, which will see a smaller crowd, ” said Chow yesterday.
On the novel coronavirus, Chow said the state has disseminated enough information and precautions to visitors.
“Our advice is that those who have symptoms of the virus should stay away from crowded areas or seek treatment immediately. They should also wear masks at all times, ” he said.
Penang is set for a huge influx of visitors during the annual procession of the golden and silver chariots which will leave the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Queen Street and Kovil Veedu in Penang Street tomorrow morning, the eve of Thaipusam.
The Thaipusam festival is expected to attract about two million visitors and devotees including kavadi bearers who will be fulfilling their vows and penance.
About 10,000 people are expected to turn up for the traditional orange-throwing session at the Esplanade, where single women throw the fruit into the sea in the hope of finding true love.
Penang Hindu Endowment Board chairman Dr P. Ramasamy, who is Deputy Chief Minister ll, said that medical teams and ambulances will be on standby during Thaipusam.
He also said people should wear masks during the festival as there will be a huge crowd.