Unifor: Suspend religious activities deemed dangerous to public during Hungry Ghost Festival

File photo of devotees burning joss sticks at the temple.

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KUCHING, Aug 22: Religious congregation or devotees should immediately suspend any religious activities or temporarily close down houses of worship when necessary, especially during this Hungry Ghost Festival period.

Unit for Other Religion (Unifor) director Richard Lon said these actions are highly encouraged should the houses of worship’s internal assessment find any activities to be potentially dangerous to public safety amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He stressed that the responsibility to stay vigilant and continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation lies on all houses of worship and not only those celebrating the Hungry Ghost Festival.

“As a precautionary measure, houses of worship organising the Zhongyuan Festival/ Yulanpen Festival (Hungry Ghost Festival) are advised to keep the number of participants to the minimum and limit participation to fully vaccinated members only while strictly adhering to the current SOP,” he said in a statement today.

Richard said this in view of the recent upsurge of daily Covid-19 caseloads in Sarawak which led to State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) tightening the standard operating procedures (SOP) in the southern region for the next one week.

On Aug 20, SDMC announced that there will be no dining-in at eateries and business operation hours will be shortened to 8pm, while a 10pm curfew will be enforced in Kuching, Lundu, Bau, Serian, Tebedu, Samarahan, Asajaya and Simunjan for seven days, effective today. — DayakDaily