Religious organisations’ leaders to be held accountable for violating pandemic prevention rules resulting in COVID-19 transmission

Update: 21:19 | 06/06/2021
Religious establishments and sites of religious practices must coordinate with authorities in contact tracing if any of them records suspected COVID-19 cases.
Health workers collect samples for COVID-19 testing in Ward 15 of Go Vap district, HCM City. (Photo: VNA)
Health workers collect samples for COVID-19 testing in Ward 15 of Go Vap district, Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: VNA)

Leaders or representatives of religious organisations, establishments and congregations will be held accountable if their places of worship fail to follow COVID-19 prevention and control rules resulting in virus transmission among dignitaries, followers, and the community, according to the Government Committee for Religious Affairs.

This is part of the content of a document from the committee recently sent to leaders of religious organisations, asking for enhanced application of anti-COVID-19 measures.

The move followed a COVID-19 outbreak that started from a religious group named “Hoi thanh truyen giao Phuc Hung” (Revival Ekklesia Mission) in Ho Chi Minh City and then spread to many localities.

Therefore, the Government committee requested leaders of religious organisations to continue communication activities to encourage their dignitaries, followers, and establishments to seriously adhere to the instructions on COVID-19 prevention and control.

They were asked to suspend all religious activities at places of worship and the sites registered for concentrated religious practices and put up warning signs at those areas. Religious establishments and sites of religious practices must coordinate with authorities in contact tracing if any of them records suspected cases.

The Government committee required religious organisations to update COVID-19 information from official sources on their websites and other means of communications, and disseminate the information to their facilities in remote areas and pandemic hotbeds.

It also recommended religious organisations call on their subsidiaries, dignitaries, and followers join hands with authorities in the pandemic fight and contribute to the COVID-19 vaccine fund.

The COVID-19 cluster at the place of worship of the Revival Ekklesia Mission group in Ward 3 of Go Vap district, Ho Chi Minh City, was found on late May 26.

As of 3pm on June 4, there had been 310 infection cases (F0), 5,377 F1s (people directly meeting the confirmed patients), and over 320,000 F2s (those with close contact with F1s) related to this cluster.

Apart from 20 of the 22 district-level localities in HCM City, the outbreak from this hotbed has spread to 15 provinces and cities, with eight reporting infection cases and seven others recording F1s or F2s.

The numbers of F0s, F1s, and F2s related to this cluster are forecast to keep increasing on the coming days.

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