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Religious event, religious place and COVID-19 spreading: An important socio-spiritual context in outbreak control

1 Private Academic Practice, Bangkok, Thailand, Department of Community Medicine, Dr DY Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Tropical Medicine, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, China

Date of Submission15-Mar-2019
Date of Decision30-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance30-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication03-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Rujittika Mungmunpuntipantip,
Private Academic Practice, Bangkok
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_95_20

How to cite this URL:
Mungmunpuntipantip R, Wiwanitkit V. Religious event, religious place and COVID-19 spreading: An important socio-spiritual context in outbreak control. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2021 Mar 2]. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=309957

Dear Sir,

COVID-19 is a new global public health problem originated from the Republic of China.[1] This infection causes worldwide pandemic. Spreading of disease can occur rapidly in crowded environment. There are many kinds of crowded place in the community that the disease might exist and spread. An important kind of crowded place in the community is religious place. Basically, religious place plays an important role as a spiritual welfare center for the community. Mass crowded activity in a famous religious place is a big consideration in disease control. The most famous place that the most number of mass religious attendant is Kaaba in Makkah during Hajj.[2]

Regarding the present COVID-19, the wide outbreak in several countries is related to religious practice at religious places. The good examples are in South Korea and Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling in Malaysia [Table 1]. For example, the authors would like to present the situation in Thailand, the second country in the timelines of outbreak. At present (March 8, 2020), there are 2369 COVID-19 cases. About 5% of those patients are Thai people returning from religious pilgrimage activity in Malaysia and Indonesia. The similar big cluster of COVID-19 in India in the late March/April 2020 is also relating to the religious gathering in the same period of the year as in Malaysia and Indonesia (www.bbc.com ' news ' world-asia-india-52147260). In the present day, the spiritual care is the important concept in holistic family medicine service. The applied concept in the management of disease outbreak can be expected. The religious place is a good place for health education to attendant. On the other hand, if there is no good infection control and sanitation plan, crowded situation can result in big outbreak of disease.
Table 1: Some religious places that link to a big cluster of coronavirus disease-19 infection

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  References Top

Hsia W. Emerging new coronavirus infection in Wuhan, China: Situation in early 2020. Case Study Case Rep 2020;10:8-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Memish ZA, Zumla A, Alhakeem RF, Assiri A, Turkestani A, Al Harby KD, et al. Hajj: Infectious disease surveillance and control. Lancet 2014;383:2073-82.  Back to cited text no. 2


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