Huge crowds attended the annual Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia on Saturday, with many seeming undeterred by concerns over the recent virus outbreak that continues to spread from China across the globe. Tens of thousands of Malay Hindus attended the festival at the Batu Caves temple on a limestone hill in Selangor state, with hardly anyone wearing face masks.
Batu Caves Temple Committee estimate that some 1.5 million people, including many tourists, were expected to turn up from Friday night to watch devotees pierce their skins with hooks and skewers and carry offerings up a flight of 272 steps to the temple.
Special precautionary measures have been put in place at the temple, which is a popular pilgrimage site and as well as a key tourist attraction.
Visitors have been urged to observe personal hygiene and wear masks to minimize the spread of the virus.
There have been 15 confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus infection in Malaysia.