Bomdila monastery
Representative image.

In view of the COVID19 pandemic, Arunachal Pradesh government has ordered that all religious institutions and places of worship will remain closed till June 30, 2020.

The secretary to the health department of Arunachal Pradesh, P Parthiban, has issued an order in this regard on Saturday.

IAS officer Parthiban in the order said: “In the interest of public and invoking of the Arunachal Pradesh Economic Disease (Prevention of COVID-19) regulations, 2020, all religious institutions/places of worship shall remain closed till 30th of June, 2020.”

Parthiban said the order has been issued with the approval of the competent authority.

Sharing the order on his Twitter handle, chief minister Pema Khandu also said: “As preventive measure from #COVID19, all religious institutions and worship places in Arunachal Pradesh will remain closed till 30th June to avoid mass gatherings until further order.”

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday released standard operating procedures or guidelines to be followed during a phased exit from lockdown that was imposed to contain and curb the coronavirus outbreak.

Instructions pertaining to places of worship, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and offices have been put out by the ministry as part of ‘Unlock 1’, for areas including containment zones, of a three-phase plan to lift the nationwide lockdown.

The Health Ministry advised to avoid common prayer mat in places of worship and urged the devotees to bring their own prayer mat or a piece of cloth which they may take back.

The Union Health Ministry has prohibited physical offerings like prasad distribution or a sprinkling of holy water to be allowed inside the religious place.

Also, touching of statues, idols or holy books or any other artefact will not be allowed, the advisory said.

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