KOTA KINABALU, April 5 — The Sabah government has issued the latest standard operating procedures (SOP) and guidelines for non-Muslim houses of worship today effective this Saturday (April 9), in line with the country entering the transition to endemic phase.

Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said new SOP and guidelines were also issued for the management of funerals and paying of last respects at non-Muslim houses of worship and funeral parlours.

He said prayer ceremonies at non-Muslim houses of worship were allowed to operate from 6am to 10pm, based on the premises’ capacity, taking into account the one-metre physical distancing, where only fully vaccinated individuals were allowed to enter.

Masidi said members of the management committee (AJKP) were required to display notices to remind devotees to bring their prayer equipment, and to perform sanitation work 30 minutes after the completion of each prayer session.

“Children under the age of 12 are only allowed to attend with their fully vaccinated parents,” said Masidi who is also the state government’s Covid-19 spokesperson in a statement tonight.

 Masidi said religious activities at non-Muslim houses of worship were also allowed in compliance with the SOP including recording attendance via the MySejahtera app and wearing a face mask to curb the spread of Covid-19 infection.

“AJKP needs to clean the space and the surrounding area, including toilets, as soon as the religious event is over,” he said, adding that social activities such as feasts and gotong-royong are also allowed by observing the physical distancing rule.

“Prayer activities at home in the evening are allowed subject to the size of the residence or funeral parlour for those who have been fully vaccinated.

“Paying the last respect is allowed and visitors are required to line up to take their turn,” he said, adding that social activities such as eating and drinking are allowed except for social gambling and cockfighting activities.

Masidi said the scattering of ashes ceremony was allowed to operate from 6am to 6pm following the SOP set and family members had to disperse immediately in an orderly manner after the ceremony was over.

Meanwhile, Masidi said a total of 198 new Covid-19 positive cases were recorded in Sabah today, bringing the cumulative total to 368,418 cases; while 211 patients recovered bringing the cumulative total of recoveries to 353,126 people. — Bernama