ITANAGAR, Jul 2: Following the standard operating procedure issued by the health secretary on Monday with regard to reopening of places of worship, the Arunachal Christian Forum (ACF) on Thursday issued its own safety measures for the churches in the state.
In a press conference held at the Arunachal Press Club, ACF president Toko Teki said: “In compliance with the government of Arunachal Pradesh, director of health service order on 30 June, 2020, ACF directs all the churches to follow the direction strictly.”
He said all safety measures would be observed, “including frequent cleaning and sanitization of worship space, sites, and buildings, with sanitizers and thermal scanners in front of the church premises.”
Wearing facemasks would be compulsory, social distance should be maintained, and individuals should bring their own holy book and not share it with others, Teki said.
“Online prayers and hymns are encouraged, but carrying out any sort of gathering, refreshment and fellowship in and around the churches is strictly prohibited,” Teki said.
He advised the Christian community to not allow aged people, children below 10 years of age, and pregnant women with comorbidities in the churches until the situation improves.
Teki further suggested that worship and service be done in batches/shifts, in order to avoid crowding.
The ACF also stated that people coming from other districts should not be allowed inside the churches.
“Offering collection may be arranged in such a way as to drop the offering without touching the box and avoid large congregation,” Teki said.
He also advised the Christian community to install the Aarogya Setu app.
Meanwhile, saying that many mission schools in Arunachal are facing hardship due to the lockdown, the ACF president appealed to the state government to allow the mission schools to start the admission process, stating that “teachers working in mission schools are not getting salaries as the school managements are unable to pay.”