Dubai gurdwara to install thermal scanners to battle coronavirus

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By Asia Samachar | DUBAI |

The Dubai gurdwara will install four airport-style temperature scanners in light of the continued spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar, the only Sikh place of worship in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will install four scanners at its entrances and the basement parking lots.

“We are fixing them tomorrow,” the gurdwara chairman Surender Singh Kandhari told Asia Samachar in a text message, adding that the equipment cost US$15,000 each.

The proactive step is in response to the unabated spread of the virus, known as COVID-19. Globally, it has killed more than 3,100 people and infected over 90,000. Aside from China, the major virus hotspots are South Korea, Iran and Italy.

A fortnight ago, Singapore gurdwaras announced that they were taking precautionary measures, including screening staff temperature and wearing gloves and masks when preparing food, as the nation battles the virus. Singapore Khalsa Association (SKA) had also announced the cancellation of its Vaisakhi mela.

If any visitor visiting the Dubai gurdwara is detected with high temperatures, Surender said they would be requested to refrain from entering the place of worship and would be reported to the Dubai Health Authority.

“This is not to create any panic. We are just taking a precaution. We welcome everyone to the Gurudwara. Let us just be careful and better be safe than sorry,” he said.

The Dubai gurudwara, located in Jebel Ali, Dubai, is known for serving free meals to all visitors through its community kitchen, catering to over 50,000 Sikh devotees in the UAE.

On average, some 2,000 people attend langar daily at the gurudwara every day, and 15,000 people visit over the weekends.

“People from all walks of life come to us. We have installed hand sanitizers and the cleaning services of the kitchen, floors, toilets, and carpets will be organised every two hours.

“We have to stick to various requirements of the ISO certification and keep high standards in hygiene and cleanliness because, for us, cleanliness is next to godliness,” he said.

He said the gurdwara has also published safety guidelines from Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Indian Embassy and the Consulate General of India as notices across the gurudwara in English and Gurmukhi.

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