Religious organizations ready to re-open places of worship by October first week, Govt forms sub-committee to revisit SOPs, protocols

Shillong, Sept 07: Representatives of various religious organizations on Monday conveyed to the state government that they were ready to re-open religious places in the state by the first week of October if the COVID-19 situation improves in the state, even as the state government has constituted a sub-committee for revisiting the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and protocols.

The representatives of religious organizations under the banner of the Shillong All Faiths Forum (SAFF) discussed with the government the re-opening of places of worship during the meeting convened by Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma.

After the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong told reporters that it was decided that a sub-committee should be constituted to be headed by the Chief Secretary, M S Rao to revisit the SOPs and protocols.

Representatives of the Shillong All Faiths Forum will be part of the sub-committee as members.

Tynsong said that if the COVID-19 situation in the state improves, leaders of the forum have conveyed that they are ready to re-open places of worship by the first week of October.

In the guidelines for the fourth stage of ‘Unlock’, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed social, political, religious functions with a ceiling of 100 persons from September 21.

Tynsong said that allowing only 100 people is not reasonable as there are places of worship with huge space, and can accommodate more than 100 people by strictly maintain the social distancing.

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