The committee urged specific events to be cancelled, including the Easter festival, Buddha’s birthday festival, the Khmer New Year (Chaul Chnam Thmey festival) - all scheduled for April, as well as the Congress of Cao Dai followers, and annual meeting of the Baha’i Spiritual Council.
The committee has also warned religious organizations against sending followers to events in other countries and accepting visitors coming from coronavirus-hit areas. Organizations should increase online services and interactions instead, the committee has directed.
Places of worship at risk of any coronavirus infection or suspicion of infection must inform authorities for disinfection and closure. Anyone visiting these places must wear face masks.
The committee also asked Vietnamese followers of different faiths to refrain from repatriating during the pandemic period and only do so when it is really necessary, following due precautions.
The cancellation of religious festivities has come after a Saigon mosque was shut down Tuesday following six Muslims who prayed there coming into close contact with a Covid-19 positive Vietnamese man.
The man, a native of south central Ninh Thuan Province, tested positive on returning from a religious event in Malaysia, becoming Vietnam's 61st Covid-19 patient.
All passengers arriving in Vietnam from abroad will be automatically quarantined for 14 days starting Saturday as authorities try to limit the spread of Covid-19.
In early February, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had requested all festivals, either still in preparation phase or already launched, to reduce their scale in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The opening ceremonies of many large festivals in northern Vietnam were therefore called off.
Vietnam has confirmed 113 infection cases, 17 of whom have been discharged from hospital. Most of the new cases are people coming in from Europe and the United States and those that came into contact with them.