Aizawl: A section of Mizoram churches, including Mizoram Presbyterian Church and the Salvation Army, on Tuesday temporarily suspended important religious activities in the wake of novel coronavirus aka COVID-19 pandemic.
Some government departments also suspended important activities.
In its circular issued to its local churches on Tuesday, Mizoram Synod, the highest executive body of Mizoram Presbyterian Church, said that any church activities, including conferences, retreat programmes, crusades, seminars, meetings and consultations, which would involve mass gatherings, have been temporarily suspended from Tuesday till April 15.
Mizoram Presbyterian Church is the largest denominational church in the state.
The executive body also banned pilgrimage or religious tours within and outside the state, the circular said, adding that the order was issued on the appeal of the state government to take preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus.
The order also said that respective local churches are given the discretionary power whether or not to continue with worship service (church service).
The India eastern territory of Salvation Army church, in its notification, also said that it has suspended territorial-wide conference and other conferences at district, division and extension level.
While giving a free hand to respective local churches to either suspend or continue with worship service, the Salvation Army has banned sectional worship service in private houses.
The order comes to effect from Tuesday till April 15, the notification said.
The Mizoram assembly has put on hold any committee sittings and spots visit till March 31. The decision was taken at a meeting held under the leadership of speaker Lalrinliana Sailo, an official said. He said that the meeting also suggested all MLAs not to take public interview till March 31.
It was decided in the meeting that legislators, officers and staffers of Assembly secretariat will enter assembly premises through the main gate after undergoing screening.
Barring any standard office procedures, all meetings and public gatherings within the premises of the Asssembly is prohibited until further decision, the official said.
Mizoram Youth Commission (MYC) also temporarily suspended its future programmes as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile, the state government has issued advisories asking people with cough, cold, sore throats and respiratory problems to stay indoor and avoid public places like markets and churches.
It also urged people to strictly observe personal hygiene by basic hand washing and usage of hand sanitizer.
The government also issued travel advisory and discouraged travel to COVID-19 affected states and countries.
Officials of health department said that the government is making massive effort to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus in the state.
More than 38,000 people have been screened and at least 145 people quarantined at home till Tuesday, they said.
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