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Places of worship gear up to open from Monday

By Tanmayee Tyagi, Noida
PUBLISHED ON JUN 07, 2020 10:53 PM IST

Places of worship — which has been shut in Gautam Budh Nagar since March 19 due to the Covid-19 crisis — will finally reopen from June 8, the district administration announced on Sunday, as per Uttar Pradesh government guidelines.

According to government guidelines, all places of worship that open up will have to ensure that social distancing norms are followed and sanitisation and thermal screening of devotees is done at regular intervals . No more than five people will be allowed inside at a time, while footwear cannot be clustered together. The guidelines also specifically mention that only asymptomatic people will be allowed inside.

Following the state guidelines, religious places across the city said they are gearing up to reopen and have been taking all necessary precautions.

“We have marked spaces on the floor for devotees to stand while ensuring enough distance between them. Arrangements have been made for thermal scanning at the entrance and sanitisation. No one will be allowed to come in without a mask and only five people will be allowed inside at a time. There will be no prasad that is offered, no tikas or amritras. Only standing darshan will be allowed. We will open up gradually. For now, the whole area has been thoroughly washed,” said Sanjeev Bali, general secretary, Sanatam Dharm temple, sector 19.

The gurdwara in sector 18 also underwent thorough cleansing for opening up from Monday.

However, some establishments, like the church located in sector 34 and Iskcon temple in sector 33 are choosing said they will not open immediately.

“The Noida temple committee will take a decision this week, after which we will open for public. Some devotees who live in the premises have continued to offer prayers in the past two months, but we are not opening from Monday,” said Ekant Dham, spokesperson, Iskcon Noida.

Any religious places falling in containment zones will not open, according to government guidelines.

“Both the jama masjid and our mosque in Nithari fall under containment zones. So, we are not opening up from tomorrow and will wait for further government directives. For now we are urging people to offer their prayers from home, until the situation is resolved,” said Shahid, the cleric at Nithari masjid.

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