‘Worship can continue but with precautions’

  • Singapore
  • Tuesday, 18 Feb 2020

The government assured Buddhist, Taoist, Sikh and Hindu leaders that events and worship at temples can continue despite the Covid-19 outbreak, but precautionary measures and enhanced personal hygiene must be observed to reduce risks of transmission.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong; Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu; and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung met these religious leaders yesterday to update them on the Covid-19 situation and to provide guidance on precautionary measures.

Many of the religious leaders shared that they have already put in place several measures to protect worshippers, the ministries said.

In an advisory on Feb 5, the Singapore Buddhist Federation advised Buddhist temples and followers to reduce or scale down indoor or outdoor religious gatherings and cancel such activities where necessary to reduce the potential spread of the virus.

Since then, the federation has also cancelled religious classes on Sundays and talks, as well as the Thousand-Buddha Dharma Assembly that was originally scheduled for March 1.

The Hindu Endowments Board had also set up thermal scanners and additional hand-washing points for the Thaipusam procession earlier this month.

Participants were told to move briskly and not gather in groups, and to leave the temple after completing their vows instead of congregating. — The Straits Times/ANN

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