Ukrainian Ministry of Health recommends religious communities to take quarantine measures
The Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations and the Ministry of Health discussed issues related to the introduction of quarantine in Ukraine to prevent coronavirus’ spreading.
The extraordinary meeting of the UCCRO was held on March 13, 2020 with the participation of the Ministry’s officials, the Institute for Religious Freedom reports.
Andriy Semivolos, Deputy Minister of Health, reported that the Ukrainian government has banned all mass events involving more than 200 people. Exceptions apply to events that ensure the work of state and local governments and sports events without spectators. Local authorities may introduce more stringent quarantine measures.
According to the official, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health recommends that churches and religious organizations take the following measures during worship services and ongoing religious practices:
• Limit, for the duration of the quarantine period, the carrying out of worship services which involve the presence of people, where possible to conduct them online;
• Advise believers not to touch/bend to icons for the quarantine period;
• Recommend to believers and priests to keep at least a 1.5-2 meters distance;
• Place antiseptics in the places of worship;
• For the quarantine period encourage believers not to shake hands, kiss or hug each other;
• For the quarantine time, urge believers to monitor their own health. And if they see their first symptoms of respiratory illnesses immediately inform the doctor;
• If believers have returned from the country where the coronavirus was detected, ask them to hold to self-isolation during the incubation period (within 14 days).
Following the discussion of possible preventive measures, the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations has decided to prepare a special appeal to the public regarding the coronavirus’ spreading prevention and the necessary actions during quarantine in Ukraine.