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Coronavirus: UAE's religious sites take precautionary measures - News - Gulflance

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Home » Coronavirus: UAE’s religious sites take precautionary measures – News
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Coronavirus: UAE’s religious sites take precautionary measures – News

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Temperature scanners to be installed in the Sikh gurudwara.

Religious institutions across the UAE are taking stringent precautionary measures against the spread of the new Covid-19 coronavirus. From installing temperature scanners at the entrance of prayer halls to dissuading mass gatherings, several places of worship have taken steps to ensure the safety of devotees.

Following the announcement that the courtyard and floors of the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia are being washed and sanitised four times daily, other religious sites in the UAE are also following suit.

‘Kiss of Peace’ discouraged at Orthodox Church

Priests in churches in Dubai are organising special prayers for countries and families affected by the outbreak that has claimed over 3,000 lives worldwide.

Father Ninan Philip Panackamattom, vicar at the St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, said an average of 1,000 people attend mass every Friday. “To avoid such large gatherings, we will now organise three sermons instead of one. There will be two in the morning, and one in the evening. That will reduce the number of attendees per service,” said Father Ninan.

Furthermore, the church has also cancelled the Sunday school Bible classes for students for an entire month. “We’ve also requested people who are suffering from flu and cough to avoid coming to the church. Hand sanitizers have been installed in the church entrances as well,” added Father Ninan.

However, a significant ritual followed by the orthodox church – ‘The Kiss of Peace’ – where devotees shake each other’s hands, have also been temporarily stopped. “This is a huge part of our prayers, and we got special permission from the Metropolitan to change the ritual and have people bow to each other instead. This has been done to ensure proper hygiene during our prayer gatherings,” explained the father.

St Mary’s Church announced on Sunday that Holy Communion would no longer be given on the tongue – as is customary – as a precautionary measure to avoid physical contact.

Temperature scanners to be installed in the Gurudwara

Chairman of Gurunanak Darbar in Jebel Ali, Surender Singh Kandhari, confirmed to Khaleej Times that temperature scanners would be installed in the gurudwara entrances and the parking lot on Tuesday. People with high temperatures will be requested not to visit the Gurudwara for safety purposes. “We’ve published DHA, Indian Embassy and the Consulate General of India safety guidelines as notices across the Gurudwara in English and Gurmukhi,” said Kandhari. An average of 2,000 people attend langar in the Gurudwara every day, and 15,000 people visit over the weekends. “People from all walks of life come to us. We have installed hand sanitizers and the cleaning services of the kitchen, floors, toilets, and carpets will be organised every two hours. We are an ISO certified facility. It is something we commit to every day irrespective of the epidemic,” said Kandhari.

Temple in Dubai to restrict mass gatherings

Raju Shroff, a trustee of the Sindhi Guru Darbar temple Hindu temple, said all mass gatherings at the Sindhi ceremonial events centre would be restricted. “We are discouraging people from organising large sit-down events, prayer meetings, and sermons. At the temple, we have installed hand sanitizers, and the temple staff constantly cleans major touchpoints,” said Shroff.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

author

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88







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