NET Web Desk
The Government of Nagaland has given a green signal for re-opening of religious places in the state subject to adherence to the provisions of standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The decision was taken in a review meeting of the High Powered Committee (HPC) on COVID-19 held on Wednesday under the chairmanship of the Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
In an order issued by the Nagaland Government, it stated that only those religious places and places of worship outside the Containment Zones would be allowed to open up.
The Government has advised persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant woman and children below the age of 10 years to stay at home. It further stated that the number of persons to be allowed in any religious place/place of worship at any point of time should not be more than 30 per cent of the capacity of that building/place. Moreover, it has been said that the religious places shall be kept open for worship between 5 am to 5 pm only.
The organisations managing the religious institutions are to advise accordingly, it said.
The government also listed generic preventive measures, including simple public health measures, which are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. The measures that need to be observed by all the workers and visitors in those places at all times include: social distancing of at least six feet with face covers or masks mandatory and hand washing and use of sanitizers wherever feasible. Washing of hands and feet before entry in the religious places and seating arrangement to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained, along with Air conditioning, which shall be put at ranges of 40˚to 70˚ and intake of fresh air as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.
The order also cautioned that violation of the above rules will attract action as per legal provisions against the management of the religious place. In case a religious place decided not to open for public worship they will be free to do so, it added.