With religious places and places of worship set to open for public from June 8, the Health Ministry has issued a list of SOPs that need to be followed by all at such places.

Places of worship get frequented by a large number of people for spiritual solace and to prevent COVID-19 spread, it is important that required social distancing and other preventive measures are followed in those premises, the ministry said.

Here is the complete list of standard operating procedures for religious places announced by the health ministry to contain the spread of coronavirus:

  • In view of the potential threat of the spread of the infection, as far as feasible recorded devotional music or songs may be played and choir or singing groups should not be allowed.
  • Common prayer mats should be avoided and devotees should bring their own mat or piece of cloth which they may take back with them.
  • No physical offerings like prasad/distribution or sprinkling of holy water, etc should be allowed inside the religious place.
  • Community kitchens, langars, ‘Ann-Daan’ etc at religious places should follow physical distancing norms while preparing and distributing food.
  • All religious places to ensure hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and make thermal screening provisions at the entrance mandatorily. Only asymptomatic persons to be allowed in the premises and allowing those using face cover or masks.
  • Shoes/footwear to be preferably taken off inside own vehicle. If needed they should be kept in separate slots for each individual/family by the persons themselves.
  • Audio and video clips to spread awareness on preventive measures for COVID-19 should be regularly played while posters on preventive measures should to be displayed prominently.
  • Any shops, stalls, cafeteria etc, outside and within the premises shall follow social distancing norms at all times.
  • The SOPs underlined maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of six feet at all times when queuing up for entry and washing hand and feet with soap and water before entering the premises.  
  • Touching of statues, idols and holy books should not be allowed and large gatherings remain prohibited.
  • For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which inter alia emphasises that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40- 70 per cent, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.
  • Spitting should be strictly prohibited and installation and use of Aarogya Setu App should be advised to all.  
  • The management of the religious places must ensure frequent cleaning and disinfection of the floors and other surfaces.
  • In case of a suspect or confirmed case in the premises, the ill person should be placed in a room or area and isolated from others and the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic)  should be informed.

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