Please forward this on to all sewadars and key figures within your gurdwara or organisation

Whilst the number of cases in India remains small, it is important that gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions and organisations to be prepared.

This email provides guidance and advice for gurdwaras and others who work in the Sikh community.

The Ministry of Health advice page can be found here – http://www.mohfw.gov.in/

Most people recover from the Coronavirus after having flu like symptoms for about a week. There is no vaccine as yet.

The symptoms of Coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. If you have those symptoms, call +91-11-23978046 for more advice and self-isolate at home whilst tests are undertaken

Keeping the Sangat safe

  • Make sure that there are enough soap supplies by wash basins
  • Avoid using cotton towels. Use paper towels or hand dryers instead
  • Wash any rumaals and chunniya regularly, and ask people to put rumaals/chunniya in a separate wash basket after use
  • Have posters up to encourage people to wash their hands regularly whilst at the gurdwara
  • Be aware that hand sanitizers contain alcohol, so soap and water is the best way to ensure hygiene at the gurdwara
  • Try to avoid hugs and handshakes
  • Regularly clean the area in front of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib where people will be touching their head on the floor for mattha teek
  • Regularly clean surfaces that will be touched frequently, such as door handles and the golak
  • Sewadars looking after shoes are encouraged to wash their hands regularly or wear disposable gloves which are regularly changed

Langar and Prashad

  • Sewadars are encouraged to wear disposable plastic gloves when preparing and serving langar or parshad
  • Do not touch the hands of the person receiving the langar or parshad
  • Cups and plates should be taken to be washed immediately after use
  • If someone wishes to have more langar or water/tea, they should be served in a fresh plate or glass/cup
  • If someone wishes to have additional roti/parshadey, they should be served in a fresh plate
  • If a sewadar is coughing in or near the langar preparation or serving area, they should be removed from the area immediately
  • No sewadars should be allowed in the kitchen if they are not feeling well
  • People should wash their hands before and after having langar and prashad

Older people

Older people and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk from the Coronavirus.

Many gurdwaras attract a higher proportion of older people, so please be aware of the impact on them if any issues do arise

Contingency Plans
The Coronavirus is currently not a pandemic.

If the outbreak becomes a pandemic, there is the possibility of up to 1 in every 5 people being ill at the same time. Gurdwaras and organisations are encouraged to consider what contingencies they have to continue operating as normal.

Questions to think about include:

  • Are there enough sewadars to ensure that the langar can be prepared and served?
  • What will you do if a giani becomes unwell?
  • Are there others who can step up to duties if necessary? Do you have their contact details

Vaisakhi is also just a few weeks away, and many gurdwaras and Sikh organisations will already be planning for their Vaisakhi events. They are all encouraged to consider contingency plans for Vaisakhi, including for nagar kirtans and other mass
gatherings.

Signage for gurdwaras
Download a printable poster from the Ministry of Health:
http://www.mohfw.gov.in/Poster_Corona_ad_Eng.pdf

Regular updates will be provided over the coming weeks, so please keep an eye out for them.

If you have any questions, please email info@citysikhs.org.uk