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Health Ministry issues SOP to contain spread of coronavirus in religious places

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New Delhi [India], June 4 (ANI): The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Thursday issued a Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) on preventive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus at religious places.
The Ministry has issued a set of guidelines that need to be followed by the religious institutions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
These guidelines include —
a) Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitiser dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.
b) Only asymptomatic persons shall be allowed inside the premises.
c) All persons to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks.
d) Posters/standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently. Audio and video clips to spread awareness on preventive measures for COVID-19 should regularly be played.
e) Staggering of visitors to be done, if possible.
f) 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.
g) Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises — duly following social distancing norms shall be organised.
h) Any shops, stalls, cafeteria, etc., outside and within the premises shall follow social distancing norms at all times.
i) Specific markings may be made with a sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises.
j) Preferably separate entry and exits for visitors shall be organised.
k) Maintain physical distancing of a minimum of six feet at all times when queuing up for entry.
l) People should wash their hands and feet with soap and water before entering the premises.
m) Seating arrangement to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained.
n) 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 24-30oC, 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.
o) Touching of statues/idols/holy books, etc., not to be allowed.
p) Large gatherings/congregation continue to remain prohibited.
q) In view of the potential threat of the spread of infection, as far as feasible recorded devotional music/songs may be played and choir or singing groups should not be allowed.
r) Avoid physical contact while greeting each other.
s) Common prayer mats should be avoided and devotees should bring their own prayer mat or piece of cloth which they may take back with them.
t) No physical offerings like Prasad/distribution or a sprinkling of holy water, etc., to be allowed inside the religious place.
u) Community kitchens/langars/’Ann-Daan,’ etc., at religious places, should follow physical distancing norms, while preparing and distributing food.
v) Effective sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, hand and foot-washing stations/areas.
The religious places all over the country are allowed to open from June 8. (ANI)

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