Ontario Gurdwaras Committee cancels Khalsa Day Parade in view of Coronavirus

Brampton, Ontario, March 26, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario Gurdwaras Committee (OGC) and its affiliated Gurdwaras are taking urgent measures and precautions to protect the health and safety of the sangat, and to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Taking direction from the Government of Ontario, which has given directive to limit gatherings to under 50 people, the OGC has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s OGC Khalsa Day Parade, which attracts approximately 200,000 people. Tough it is an important celebration for the Sikh community, keeping Sarbat da Bhalla in mind and following the directive from the Government of Ontario, cancelling the 2020 Nagar Kirtan is in the sangat’s best interest.

In addition to cancelling the Khalsa Day Parade, OGC affiliated Gurdwaras are addressing the potential for COVID-19 to spread in Gurdwaras. At this time, the Gurdwaras are focusing on:

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• Encouraging sangat to cancel or postpone their booked programs
• Limiting sangat attending programs to immediate family
• Limiting seva related to Langar preparation and distribution to Gurdwara sewadars only
• Ensuring Gurdwara sewadars are wearing gloves and covering their mouth and nose during Langar preparation, distribution and degh distribution
• Simplifying Langar to roti or rice and one dhaal
• Monitoring the number of sangat entering and exiting the Gurdwaras to ensure there are under 50 people
• Encouraging the sangat to do Matha Tekh and move on rather than sit in the Darbar Sahib
• Increased cleaning of communal and high-traffic areas such as main entrances, door handles, and washrooms
• Encouraging elders over 70 years of age, and those with compromised immune systems to refrain from leaving their homes

We ask that the sangat respect and follow these instructions as they have been put in place to ensure that the sangat safely can ll benefit from Guru de Darshan and Guru ka Langar at this time.

We will continue to assess our safety measures and act in accordance with information and directive provided by the Government of Ontario.

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