CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Annals of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India)
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1716940
Review Article

Role of Religious Practices in the Spread and Mitigation of COVID-19

Simarpreet V. Sandhu
1  Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Genesis Institute of Dental Sciences and Research, Ferozepur, Punjab, India
,
Hardas S. Sandhu
2  Dr. Hardas Singh Orthopaedic Hospital, Amritsar, Punjab, India
› Author Affiliations
  

Abstract

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020 which engulfed the world like wild fire in less than 2 months. It has played havoc with the lives of people restricting their movement, confining them to their homes for months, devastating the economy, and causing psychological issues in some of them. In the unprecedented threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on communities and nations across the globe, religious leaders and faith-based organizations may play a crucial role in saving lives and mitigating the spread of the disease. Religious leaders and faith-based organizations are primary source of support, comfort, guidance, direct health care and social service, for the communities they serve and people who have staunch belief in them. Most of the religious-minded people visit their places of worship frequently and often join the congregations on special occasions, making them vulnerable to any infectious disease prevailing at that time. Ensuring awareness and dispelling pseudoscientific practices is a necessity for such communities in India to contain and control the coronavirus infection, as it presents unique threat owing to the geographical vastness and the complexity of its cultural and religious diversity, beliefs, and practices coexisting with poor social indicators in this country. A study was conducted to understand the role of religious practices in the spread and mitigation of COVID-19.



Publication History

Publication Date:
26 October 2020 (online)

© 2020. National Academy of Medical Sciences (India). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.
A-12, Second Floor, Sector -2, NOIDA -201301, India

 
  • References

  • 1 Ashour HM, Elkhatib WF, Rahman MM, Elshabrawy HA. Insights into the recent 2019 novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in light of past human coronavirus outbreaks. Pathogens 2020; 9 (03) 186
  • 2 WHO. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Available at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019. Accessed March 15, 2020
  • 3 Pennisi E. Does Religion influence epidemics? Available at:https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2011/08/does-religion-influence-epidemics. Accessed August 31, 2020
  • 4 Kapila S. Will religion deliver us from or doom us to the pandemic? Available at:https://thewire.in/religion/religious-congregations-coronavirus. Accessed June 16, 2020
  • 5 Quadri SA. COVID-19 and religious congregations: implications for spread of novel pathogens. Int J Infect Dis 2020; 96: 219-221
  • 6 Escher Jr AR. An ounce of prevention: coronavirus (COVID-19) and mass gatherings. Cureus 2020; 12 (03) e7345
  • 7 Lawler, David, “God and COVID-19” (2020). Pandemic Response and Religion in the USA: Law and Public Policy. 61. Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/religion-pandemic-law/61. Accessed May 20, 2020
  • 8 Bindu H. Faith over health? Why religious gatherings should be prohibited during coronavirus pandemic? Available at:https://www.grainmart.in/news/faith-over-health-why-religious-gatherings-should-be-prohibited-during-coronavirus-pandemic/. Accessed May 25, 2020
  • 9 Dharmshaktu NS. The lessons learned from current ongoing pandemic public health crisis of COVID 19 and its management in India from various different angles, perspectives and way forward. Epidem Int 2020; 5 (01) 1-4
  • 10 Marrero T. Pastor of Tampa church that held two large Sunday services arrested, jailed. Available at: https://www.newsbreak.com/florida/tampa/news/1537024610056/pastor-of-tampa-church-that-held-two-large-sunday-services-arrested-jailed. Accessed June 15, 2020
  • 11 Ebrahim SH, Memish ZA. Saudi Arabia’s drastic measures to curb the COVID-19 outbreak: temporary suspension of the Umrah pilgrimage. J Travel Med 2020;27(3):taaa029, https://doi.org/10.1093/jtm/taaa029
  • 12 McCloskey B, Zumla A, Ippolito G. et al. WHO Novel Coronavirus-19 Mass Gatherings Expert Group. Mass gathering events and reducing further global spread of COVID-19: a political and public health dilemma. Lancet 2020; 395 (10230) 1096-1099
  • 13 Amid Covid-19 lockdown, religious rituals, ceremonies take digital avatar. Available at: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/amid-covid-19-lockdown-religious-rituals-ceremonies-take-digital-avatar/story-U9awtF1OwYUTcKDwBfOxRL.html. Accessed May 20, 2020
  • 14 UNICEF. Launch of global multi-religious faith-in-action COVID-19 initiative, faith and positive change for children, families and communities. Available at:https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/launch-global-multi-religious-faith-action-covid-19-initiative. Accessed August 31, 2020
  • 15 Robinson K. How are major religions responding to the coronavirus? Available at: https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/how-are-major-religions-responding-coronavirus. Accessed May 17, 2020
  • 16 Berger M. Around the world, the devout are adapting their rituals to fit life under the coronavirus. Available at:https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/04/22/around-world-devout-are-adapting-their-rituals-fit-life-under-coronavirus/. Accessed on May 15, 2020
  • 17 WHO. Practical considerations and recommendations for religious leaders and faith-based communities in the context of COVID-19 Interim guidance. Available at:https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/practical-considerationsand-recommendations-for-religious-leaders-and-faith-based-communities-in-the-context-of-covid-19. Accessed May 29, 2020
  • 18 Government of India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. SOP on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in religious places/places of worship. Available at:https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/2SoPstobefollowedinReligiousPlaces.pdf. Accessed June 15, 2020