Masks mandatory, no physical offerings: Maharashtra issues SOP for places of worship opening tomorrow


    Masks mandatory, no physical offerings: Maharashtra problems SOP for places of worship opening tomorrow

    By: Express Web Desk|New Delhi |

    Updated: November 15, 2020 6: 11: 00 pm

    uddhav thackeray, maharashtra diwali, maharashtra coronavirus latest updates, maharashtra diwali crackers Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray recently revealed opening of the locations of praise in the state. (File picture)

    With Maharashtra tossing open the doors of places of worship from Monday, the state government has provided a set of standards to make sure minimum Covid-19 danger. The standard procedure (SOP) mentions that only shrines located outside containment zones will be allowed to open, and thermal screening and hand sanitisers will be necessary.

    No physical offerings such as ‘prasad’ distribution or scattering of holy water will be allowed inside the religious location.

    Revealing the resuming of places of praise, which have actually been shut given that April, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday asked people to “strictly follow rules” and ensure discipline. The reopening of locations of praise has been a point of contention, with the Opposition as well as the Maharashtra Governor targeting the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government for keeping them shut, regardless of Central guidelines of June 8 allowing them to be resumed.

    The state government has more than the past couple of months been firm on not reopening places of worship, fearing that big gatherings, specifically during the festival season, might become super-spreaders.

    Now, with the federal government allowing these spiritual locations to open, all the people gotten in touch with them, including workers and visitors, have actually been asked to use masks and preserve social distancing strictly. Proper disposal of the face covers must be ensured, the guidelines state.

    In the SOP, the federal government has actually advised individuals above 65 years of age, those with co-morbidities, pregnant females and children listed below 10 years of age to remain at home. Spitting need to be strictly restricted, the standards said, including that a penalty should be enforced as a deterrent. Visitors have also been advised to use Aarogya Setu app and ideally remove their shoes in their own automobile prior to going into the location of praise.

    The spiritual places have actually been encouraged to spread awareness about the preventive step through posters, audio and video clips. Staggering of the visitors ought to be done, which will depend upon the size of the structure and the ventilation of the place. Social distancing need to likewise be kept in the parking lot, toilets and eating locations. Preferably, there must be separate entry and exit gates to the place.

    Any shops, stalls, cafeteria within the premises of the religious location ought to follow social distancing norms. Even community kitchen area, remains, ‘Ann daan’ on the facilities ought to maintain physical distancing, including throughout preparation of food.

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