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A priest in a Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal has objected to the use of sanitizers in temples and places of worship, due to its alcohol content.
"The task of government is to issue the guidelines but I am against the sanitiser machine in the temples because it contains alcohol," Chandrashekhar Tiwari, the priest of Bhopal Maa Vaishnavadham Nav Durga Temple as quoted tellingThe Hindustan Times.
The government has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) after reopening religious places, that are required to be followed while visiting.
It includes physical distancing of at least six-feet, mandatory use of face masks, provisions of thermal screening, and a sanitizer dispenser at the entrance of the premises. The devotees will be allowed entry only if they adhere to the guidelines, the Ministry added.
Opposing the idea of sanitizer dispenser, Tiwari said that when one cannot enter a temple after drinking alcohol, how can we allow people who sanitize their hands with it.
He proposed the option of installing hand washing facilities with soaps outside temples as an alternative.
According to the World Health Organization's standard, hand sanitizer should contain 70% alcohol which helps kill the virus on the hands, and the government has been pushing for its strict use in public places including the religious premises, since the coronavirus outbreak.
Centre's guidelines also prohibit physical offerings such as prasad distribution or sprinkling of holy water. Devotees are not allowed to share a common prayer mat, and should instead bring their own which they may take back with them.
Choirs or singing groups will not be allowed and instead, the temples are asked to prefer playing recorded devotional music and songs. Large public gatherings/congregations are strictly prohibited.
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