Religious sites begin resuming operations in Tibet

Publish Time: 2020-04-02 Author: Palden Nyima and Daqiong in Lhasa From: China Daily

Ganden Monastery in Lhasa, capital of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, Feb 5, 2020.[Photo/Xinhua]

Lhasa, capital of Tibet autonomous region, has resumed the operations of 214 religious sites in rural areas since Tuesday, as the COVID-19 outbreak has basically been brought under control in the region.

Religious visitors are required to present their health condition QR code and ID before entering these monasteries, and all religious activities involving big gatherings are not yet allowed, according to the announcement on Monday by the Lhasa Buddhism Association.

It said 214 religious sites in its rural areas have resumed operation since Tuesday, but the religious sites in the city's Chengguan district, urban areas and the city's center remained closed.

Most of the city's monasteries have been closed to public visits over health concerns since Jan 28, and any religious activities involving big gatherings were canceled.

According to the statement, the city will reopen the monasteries in rural areas first, the monasteries in the urban towns second, and finally the center town.

After resumption, these monasteries will be required to follow health prevention regulations to prevent any risks of imported infection or local transmission.

People in the monasteries have been asked to perform regular health checks, wear masks, disinfect houses and open windows for fresh air, the statement said.

Located in the town center, the reopening dates for Lhasa's Drepung, Sera, Gandan and Tsurphu monasteries, and the Jokhang temple is unknown, because these sites normally see a large flow of people.

Tibet had reported zero new infections for 62 consecutive days as of Tuesday, according to the region's health commission. Only one case had been reported since the outbreak, and that person has recovered and was released in mid-February.

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