Thailand: PM’s Office urges monks to observe new normal hinh anh 1Anucha Nakasai has urged Buddhist monks to realign their religious practices with the new normal to help limit the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: NNT)
Bangkok (NNT/VNA) - The Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office of Thailand, Anucha Nakasai, has urged Buddhist monks to realign their religious practices with the new normal, to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Mr. Anucha expressed a concern for Buddhist monks and novices, following reports that some monks recently tested positive for COVID-19. He urged clergy members to go about their daily lives in the new normal circumstances, while still complying with the rules and regulations of the Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand. They are advised to refrain from holding religious events in high-risk provinces and other such activities, such as ordination ceremonies. Temple fairs and other annual, customary events should not be organized at this time.

People can still give alms to monks and novices as usual, but they have to wear protective masks and practice social distancing. Monks and novices should refrain from offering blessings after receiving alms.

Since funeral rites cannot be avoided, organisers must follow the public health measures strictly. If the deceased was infected with COVID-19, the casket cannot be open for viewing. Funeral prayers can be conducted before the person’s portrait.

The private sector and the general public have regularly donated protective materials against COVID-19, such as face masks and alcohol gel, to Buddhist monks in many temples, particularly those in high-risk areas. If monks and novices show symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high fever, they are advised to seek immediate care from health providers, or call the Department of Disease Control’s hotline at 1422 for information and assistance./.