March 19, 2020
Sikh community has prepared an action plan to tackle coronavirus in the UK. The Sikh Council UK and the Sikh Doctors Association has jointly come up with a set of rules –“a robust plan to address the public health emergency due to coronavirus.”
It provides directives for gurdwaras, organisations, charities and jathebandis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the Sikh Council UK said: “We are extremely concerned about the health and safety of the Sikh community and wider society.
“We are about to enter a very dangerous phase in the coronavirus spread, as the death rate is predicted to rise massively.
“This has already occurred in Italy and the UK will follow that emerging catastrophe in the next few weeks if we do not put the timely Government action plan in place.
“Whilst we stand at 104 deaths nationally today, it is likely to escalate to 200,000 deaths within a short period. The Government plan in place is likely to reduce this number to 20,000 deaths, which in itself is still a tragedy. The worst of the pandemic is still to come.
“In line with Government guidance and the emerging government plan, we have produced a preparation plan. This plan will massively reduce the potential spread of the virus in Gurdwaras and the local community, address common risks and ensure our implementation saves lives and protects the vulnerable.
“With good awareness programmes and regular coronavirus updates, the sangat should be better informed and will act more responsibly to keep themselves safe and others safe too.
“The Sikh Doctors Association is working especially on this aspect.
“Yesterday, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that coronavirus social distancing measures extend to places of worship as they also pose a significant risk. We have taken the necessary specialist advice and analysed this in light of Gurmat. The aim is to gain the fullest compliance in social distancing whilst remaining in accordance with the tenets and spirit of the Sikh Faith.”
It has produced a series of guidelines “that should be enforced fully by management committees and supported by all sangat.”