Temples cannot open in EMCO areas

KUCHING: The opening of temples for the Wesak Day celebration which falls on Wednesday (May 26) will not be allowed in areas under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO).

This is according to the latest standard operating procedures (SOPs) released on Monday (May 24).

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) said in other areas, temples could only open from 8 am to 9 am on Wesak Day.

It said that the temples would be open to only 20 committee members and members of Sangha (Buddhist monastic order). 

Apart from that, the bathing of the Buddha statues would not be allowed.  

It pointed out that the Divisional Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) might amend the SOPs for the respective division if the Covid-19 situation deteriorated.

Apart from that, individuals who are unwell or have symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, flu or breathing difficulties are not allowed to enter the temples.

Individuals suffering from chronic diseases, senior citizens and children aged 12 years and below are also not encouraged to go to the temples.

Other SOPs that must be adhered to include registering of attendance through the MySejahtera application or by filling in the attendance books; maintaining at least one metre of physical distancing; wearing face masks at all times and washing hands frequently with either soap and water or hand sanitisers; avoiding handshakes or any other form of physical contacts and immediately leaving the temple once the religious activities are completed.

Under the SOPs, the temple management committees must appoint at least two designated wardens or two People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) personnel to monitor the implementation and adherence to the SOPs in force as well as make sure that there was only one designated entry and exit point.

The temple management committees have also been urged to undertake scheduled sanitisation of the temple halls.

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