Selangor non-Muslim places of worship can open today

  • Nation
  • Friday, 19 Jun 2020

SHAH ALAM: The state government and Selangor Task Force for Covid-19 (STFC) have formulated additional guidelines on preparation for the opening of non-Muslim places of worship during the recovery movement control order (MCO).

Selangor exco for health, welfare, women empowerment and family Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said non-Muslim places of worship could open their doors beginning today if they were compliant with the standard operating procedure.

She said the state’s guidelines were meant to complement the regulations that had been formulated by the Federal Government in line with the opening of the non-Muslim places of worship.

“But if there is a difference between the state and federal SOP, we will follow the federal guidelines, ’’ said Dr Siti Mariah.

She said the differences between the two guidelines, for example, was the definition of senior citizens.

While the federal definition of senior citizens, who are not encouraged to attend prayer congregations and gatherings, is 60 years and above, the Selangor definition is different.

“The state is of the opinion that if someone who is 60 years and above and is healthy, they can go to the places of worship. While those who are 60 and above and are unhealthy, it is advisable for them not to attend these places, ” said Dr Siti Mariah.

Children below the age of 12 are prohibited from going.

According to the state guidelines, those who are unwell with symptoms of Covid-19, as well as high-risk individuals such as obese people or those who have chronic hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease and liver disease are not allowed to go to their respective places of worship.

She added that Selangor had also divided worshippers into three groups – low risk, high risk and very high risk.

“Those who are high risk are people who are 60 years and above who have hypertension or diabetes while the very high-risk category is for those with chronic illness as well as those who have kidney disease and are on dialysis.”

Dr Siti Mariah added that the places of worship must also ensure 1.5m social distancing and prohibit any physical contact activities.

“We have given (the places of worship) guidelines on how to do social distancing and how to control entries and exits.”

She had earlier attended a meeting and briefing session with representatives of non-Muslim places of worship in Selangor that was held at the state secretariat here.

Dr Siti Mariah said the onus was with the management committees of these places of worship to ensure the SOPs.

She said anyone who flouted the law would be shut down.

“Each of these places of worship must also appoint a special Covid-19 person to manage the flow of movement in their premises.”

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