In an interesting yet amusing observation, a temple priest in Bhopal has said that he is against the use of sanitizers in places of religious worship like temples due to its alcohol content. As part of ‘Unlock 1’ places of religious worship are set to reopen from June 8 with regulations in place.
The SOP released by the Union Ministry of Health mandated minimum of six feet physical distancing, including wearing of masks, thermal screening for devotees including a hand sanitizer dispenser in the entrance.
Reacting to this a priest from BJP ruled state of Madhya Pradesh said that he cannot allow the usage of sanitizers inside temples as it contained alcohol.
“The task of government is to issue the guidelines but I am against the sanitiser machine in the temples because it contains alcohol,” Chandrashekhar Tiwari, the priest of Bhopal Maa Vaishnavadham Nav Durga Temple, said, according to news agency ANI.
He asked how can we sanitize our hands with alcohol when drinking alcohol and entering temple is prohibited. As a remedy he proposed the option of installing hand washing facilities with soaps outside temples which was acceptable. “Anyway, a person enters the temple only after taking a bath at home,” he said.
A World Health Organization standard hand sanitizer should contain 70% alcohol which helps kill the virus on the hands. The centre and state governments have been propagating use of hand sanitizers in public places since the coronavirus outbreak.
Amidst worries of virus spreading when temples reopen the centre has asked places of worship to refrain from giving offerings like prasad and sprinkling holy water. Devotees are advised to leave their footwear in their own vehicles or in separate compartments. Touching of idols and holy books are strictly prohibited.