Dos and don’ts for devotees visiting the mosques for prayers

Hyderabad: Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood has released a video explaining Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in religious places/places of worship as issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

YouTube video

The preventive measures include:

Religious places/places of worship for public in containment zones shall remain closed. Only those outside containment zones will be allowed to open up.

Person above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant woman and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home.

Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places as far as feasible.

Avoid physical contact while greeting each other (No handshake and no hug).

Use of face covers/masks to be mandatory. All persons to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks.

Devotees are advised to practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of hand sanitizers can be made wherever feasible.

Spitting should be strictly prohibited.

One must cover one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow.

Devotees must self-monitor their health condition and report any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.

Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all.

 All religious places shall also ensure mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions at the entrance.

Only asymptomatic persons shall be allowed in the premises.

Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises – duly following social distancing norms shall be organized.

Shoes / footwear to be preferably taken off inside own vehicle. If needed they should 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 at all times.

Preferably separate entry and exits for visitors shall be organized.

Seating arrangement to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained.

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 24-30oC, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.

Touching of holy books etc. not to be allowed.

Large gatherings/congregation continue to remain prohibited.

Common prayer mats should be avoided and devotees should bring their own prayer mat or piece of cloth which they may take back with them.

Frequent cleaning and disinfection to be maintained by the management of the religious place.

In case of a suspect or confirmed case in the premises the ill person must be placed in a room or area where they are isolated from others. Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district helpline.