COVID-19 Coronavirus

Guidance for Religious Gatherings


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Persons presiding over religious gatherings have a vital role to play in prevention of the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.

We encourage you to share this information with your congregation and ensure the recommended measures are facilitated by maintaining adequate supplies of soap and/ or hand sanitizer, tissues for respiratory etiquette and routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.

  • What is COVID-19?

    COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some persons may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention and call in advance.

  • How does COVID-19 spread? People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus.

    The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others.

    People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. Try to maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

    The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. COVID-19 is not spread by mosquitos, water, or food.

  • Should I worry about COVID-19?

    Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for you to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect you and your loved ones. We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. First and foremost among these actions is: • Regular and thorough hand-washing with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t immediately available use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. • Practice good respiratory hygiene. Cover your cough or sneeze. • If you are unwell stay at home. Do not go to school, work or attend social gatherings.

  • Should I wear a mask to protect myself?

    Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely. The World Health Organization advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.

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With concern from Siam SPA

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