Hindu devotees advised to avoid temples amid Covid-19 outbreak

Hindu devotees and visitors make their way up the steps of Batu Caves during the Thaipusam festival in Kuala Lumpur January 21, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Hindu devotees and visitors make their way up the steps of Batu Caves during the Thaipusam festival in Kuala Lumpur January 21, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Steer clear of temples to control the transmission of Covid-19, advised Malaysia Hindu Sangam president, Datuk RS Mohan Shan.

“Devotees who intend to visit temples, especially for Temple Thiruvizha (a celebration) or Maha Kumbhabhisekam (a consecration ceremony), where thousands of people will gather, are advised to avoid such events for their own well-being. 

“Those who are attending, must take the necessary steps such as wearing a mask and washing their hands,” he said via a statement a short time ago. 

Malaysia Hindhudhrama Maamandram president, Sri Radhakrishan Alagamalai, also urged devotees to limit mass gathering and ritual attendance. 

“Devotees and temple committees may still perform simple prayers on a small scale but must take the right precautionary measures as advised by the Ministry of Health (MOH),” he told Bernama today.

Batu Caves Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple secretary, Sethu Pathy Cumarasamy, said the temple is looking into how it can help ease the fears of devotees coming to temple. 

“As we know, the Batu Caves temple is an open area, so we have to come up with careful measures to prevent the disease from affecting devotees and tourists,” he told Bernama today. 

He said the temple is already feeling the fallout from Covid-19 and that only around 100 tourists have visited daily compared to the 5,000 previously. 

Yesterday, Health Director-General, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said that all mass gatherings must be postponed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including religious events and gatherings. 

Subsequently, the Catholic Church of Malaysia announced it will suspend weekend and weekday mass from March 14-29. — Bernama


 

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