Thiruvananthapuram: On the eve of Good Friday, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked people to step up vigil against the threat of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Christian community, which comprises more than 18 per cent of Kerala's population, had earlier decided to observe the holy week from April 5.
However, there was no gathering at churches due to lockdown declared by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
"A day that reminds us about Jesus Christ, the embodiment of sacrifice. Let's commemorate this day by praying for the rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients by remembering the messages from Jesus for the well being of the sufferers," Vijayan said as he asked people to step up vigil against the deadly virus.
Christians in Kerala observed a low-key holy Thursday by baking breads at their homes to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles and the washing of the feet.
"We are in the 21-day lockdown announced by the PM Narendra Modi. The celebrations of the Holy Week should be limited in respect of the restrictions imposed by the state government and the civil authorities," the Syro-Malabar Church had said last week.
On Good Friday, no public veneration of the cross or way of the cross would be held, the Church said.
Directing the Bishops to celebrate the liturgies in the Cathedral and the priests in their respective parishes, the Church has insisted that care should be taken that there are not more than five people at any time.
Kerala on Thursday reported twelve more positive cases of coronavirus, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 357, Vijayan said and cautioned that the state should continue to maintain vigil against the pandemic.