Coronavirus: Places of worship prepare for services to resume
Places of worship taking precautionary steps against Covid-19 as they prepare to resume services
In preparation for the resumption of suspended services, several religious organisations are taking steps to safeguard the health of their devotees amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Some Catholic churches The New Paper spoke to confirmed that they have obtained thermal scanners, which TNP understands were provided by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore.
A spokesman for the Archbishop's communications office said it is also exploring the use of quick response (QR) codes and manual registration for contact tracing.
The Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery said it will roll out a similar QR code system.
A spokesman said small-scale prayer groups will resume for the birthday of Guan Yin Bodhisattva on March 12, where all members will need to fill in a declaration form before entering.
The monastery will serve lunch to devotees in packets instead of on shared plates to reduce contact.
For the upcoming Qing Ming Festival, where families pay respects to their ancestors from March 21 to April 12, the spokesman said temperature screening will take place and visitors are strongly encouraged to scan a QR code for contact tracing.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore said prayers in mosques have continued with enhanced precautionary measures, and it encourages the use of personal mats during prayer.
Grace Assembly of God, which had the largest cluster of 23 cases here, further postponed its services.
This marks the third week its activities have been suspended since cases linked to the church were first announced by the Ministry of Health on Feb 12.
A church spokesman said its office resumed operations with only a skeletal team on Feb 26, and it decided that pre-recorded video messages from senior pastor Wilson Teo, who was previously infected with the coronavirus, was the most viable option for now.
The spokesman added that the church was in the process of acquiring thermal scanners.
The other church cluster here, The Life Church and Missions Singapore, said its services had resumed since Feb 23.
The church had employed professional disinfection services to clean its premises twice after eight of its members were infected with Covid-19. Worshippers also helped to disinfect the seats after each service.