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17 Feb 2020

17th Feb 2020

            Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Culture, Community & Youth Ms Grace Fu and Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung met with Buddhist, Taoist, Sikh and Hindu religious leaders today to update them on the COVID-19 situation, and to provide guidance on precautionary measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.

2.            The Ministry of Health (MOH) advises that religious events and worship at temples may continue, but with appropriate precautionary measures and enhanced emphasis on personal hygiene practices to reduce the risk of transmission.

3.            The Ministers thanked the religious leaders for their understanding and support. Many of the religious leaders shared at the meeting that they have already put in place several measures to protect their worshippers.

4.            The Ministers highlighted the role of social responsibility in reducing the risk of transmission. Those who are unwell, including worshippers, volunteers and staff, should consult a doctor immediately and avoid going to religious events or places of worship. This includes having mild symptoms such as cough, sore throat and runny nose, as not all cases of COVID-19 infection had a fever at onset of symptoms. 

5.            MOH shared additional measures that can be adopted, including reminding worshippers not to attend religious events if they have recent travel history to mainland China in the last 14 days, or are under leave of absence, increasing the frequency of cleaning of commonly used areas, and minimising sharing of common items where possible. There should also be good ventilation at venues where large events are held.

6.            The most effective method to prevent transmission remains through good personal hygiene of regular hand washing with soap and water, and to avoid touching our face unnecessarily.