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Meghalaya: Religious places to remain closed till June-end amid rise in corona cases

Despite the Central government’s nod to reopen the religious places under Unlock 1.0, the Meghalaya government has decided not to open the religious places till June-end.

The decision was taken by the government on June 9th, 2020 after a meeting with the religious leaders to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. It may be mentioned that the religious places have remained close since March 25th, 2020, when the first phase of the complete lockdown was enforced by the Prime Minster Narendra Modi initially for 21 days, which was later extended.

Also read: Meghalaya reports one more COVID-19 case, state tally reaches 44

Centre’s SOP for religious places

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) issued SOP from the re-opening of religious places of worship. While the Ministry has advised persons over 65 years, pregnant women, and children under 10 to stay at home, it has ordered religious places in containment zones were not allowed to open and must remain shut.

  • Entrance must have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.
  • Only asymptomatic persons must be allowed and entry must be staggered
  • Shoes / footwear to be preferably taken off inside own vehicle and must be kept in separate slots for each individual/family by the persons themselves.
  • Any shops, stalls, cafeteria etc., outside and within the premises shall follow social distancing norms
  • 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 deg Celsius.
  • No physical offerings like Prasad/distribution or sprinkling of holy water, be allowed inside
  • Community kitchens should follow physical distancing norms while preparing and distributing food.
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection of the religious places must be down, with particular focus on
  • lavatories, hand and foot-washing stations/areas.
  • Touching of statues/idols / holy books etc. not to be allowed.
  • Large gatherings/congregation continue to remain prohibited.
  • Recorded devotional music/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 prayer mat, which may take back with them.

The COVID-19 has infected a total of 44 people and claimed one in Meghalaya. Of the 44 confirmed cases, 30 are active and one died due to the infection while 13 people have been cured and discharged.

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