Large-scale traditional religious activities during the Tibetan New Year, which falls on Feb. 24 this year, will be suspended this year in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, local authorities said Monday.

The Buddhist association of Lhasa said the act was proposed by monasteries in the city and aimed to protect people’s health and avoid the risk of cross-infection caused by gatherings.

Other religious activities such as praying for the Tibetan New Year will be held inside monasteries in Lhasa, but the time should be shortened and the scale downsized.

The Tibetan New Year is a traditional festival of the Tibetan ethnic minority.

“We all know the novel coronavirus is highly infectious, and we understand the anti-virus measures,” said Tsering, a resident in Lhasa.

As of Sunday, Tibet had reported one confirmed case of novel coronavirus pneumonia.