Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom’s pagodas to stage battle cry event against coronavirus




Kingdom’s pagodas to stage battle cry event against coronavirus

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A monk participates in a drum beating ceremony in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom’s pagodas to stage battle cry event against coronavirus

Senior monks in Cambodia have advised Buddhist pagoda heads across the country to beat drums and recite prayers loudly together on the evening of March 23 to ward off Covid-19.

The announcement by the Chief Monks of Cambodia on March 16 said that in order to take part in government efforts to tackle the virus, monks and Buddhist followers across the country should learn about the virus and practice good personal hygiene and food safety.

“Nationwide, pagoda’s [chief monks] should beat drums in unison and recite their prayers loudly in line with senior monk Anandatthera.

“Recite the prayer softly in Vesali city where he stays. This is the place that contains the canon of Buddhism of Nikaya Nº 52. We will unite to ward off disaster against this inhumane disease,” the announcement said.

Senior monks Non Nget also appealed to all pagoda monks and Buddhist followers across the Kingdom to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health and National and international organisations.

He said if they meet people with symptoms of fever such as coughing, sneezing, flu, runny nose or a sore throat, they had to send them to the nearest health centre for emergency treatment.

“The senior monks of the Kingdom hope that head monks, deputy monks and monks of all pagodas will follow the call with the clearest mind and the greatest responsibility,” he said.

As of mid-morning on Tuesday, Cambodia announced that 33 people had contracted Covid-19, with the lastest nine cases contracted by Khmer Muslims who mistly attended a religious event in Malaysia.

Dr Hen Pheareak who has more than 20 years experience in respiratory tract infections told The Post on Tuesday that given the recent spike in virus cases, mass gatherings should be stopped, including religious gatherings.

“Mass gatherings at this time are not appropriate, especially at a pagoda which has a lot of elderly people. The majority of people are older, therefore they will have weaker immune systems.

“They are the most susceptible to the dangers of the disease. If the event proposed by the monks must go ahead, we all must be vigilant, wash our hands and practice the highest standards of personal hygiene.

“The pagodas should keep the event to less than five people, and keep their distances from one another. In this case, their actions will be positive to raise awareness of the disease.

“Numbers at the ceremony should be minimal. The beating of drums will act to inform citizens about vigilance and to keep their houses clean. The gathering is not wrong, but it should be done correctly,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • China and India closer to ‘biggest’ showdown

    Indian and Chinese troops remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh on Thursday, signalling that the confrontation could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam episode in 2017. Ladakh is a union

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered

  • Women detained for forcing kids to beg

    Two women were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday for forcing six children to beg for money for several months at the Chhouk Meas market in Krang Thnong commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district. Phnom Penh Department of Anti-human Trafficking and

  • Vietnamese tents baffle border guards

    Kandal and Takeo provincial authorities bordering Vietnam have expressed concern after witnessing irregularities by the Vietnamese authorities, including the deployment of soldiers to erect 114 camps just 30m from the border. Takeo provincial governor Ouch Phea told The Post on Thursday that Vietnamese soldiers had erected 83