Around the world humanity is experiencing some truly testing times. In
times like these that our confidence and faith in God is truly tested. During
these times of uncertainty let us focus our efforts on turning inward and
connecting with the divine within. Let us ardently pray for Love and protection
for all of humanity. We saw the impact of prayer during the Australian
bushfires, and now is no different. Let us send our love and energy to the
world and know that the Divine will take care.
Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event. We also appreciate the frontline healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the working to contain this Novel Coronavirus. As an organisation the safety of all our members and the community is paramount. With the escalation communicated by the Australian Government in relation to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), new precautionary measures are being introduced.
As members of the SSIO of Australia, it is our duty to help prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus in the community. By abiding by the below advice, we truly fulfil our duty as Selfless Servants.
Please be advised of the following but also note that the advice of local or government authorities supersedes our advice.
- All major National and Region events scheduled between now and 15-June 2020 are being cancelled or postponed. This includes all unity events, retreats, Aradhana Mahotsavam and Easwaramma Day Celebrations.
- Sai Centres will remain open. However, Region Presidents will review activities of all Sai Centres in their respective regions and advise if centres should/will close. This includes SSE programs. Consideration will be given to the size of the centre/activity and the venue being used. PLEASE SEE UPDATE BELOW.
- Centres that will continue are to provide hand sanitizers for members or members are requested to bring their own. Further they are to ensure that the premises are properly cleaned before and after centre activities, noting that public venues could be used by other groups. Precautions need to be taken for items such as microphones which are shared between people. The SSIO does not recommend moving centre activities to members’ homes.
- No practises or activities are to take place at members’ homes who have recently returned from overseas or are unwell or have come in contact with a confirmed case.
- Senior members and members with pre-existing medical conditions are requested to take extra caution as data indicates they are most at risk.
The following precautions issued last week have now been revised:
- There will be no distribution of food offerings (prasadam) in centres until further notice.
- The distribution of holy ash (vibhuti) may only continue with care and good hygiene practises, such as using a spoon for distribution
- Members who are feeling unwell are asked to stay at home and refrain from attending Sai Centre Events, Devotional Singing Sessions, being involved in service projects, particularly in relation to food preparation
- Members should abide by the advice of the Australian Authorities in relation to the extended 21-day self-isolation period if overseas travel has occurred or contact has been made with a confirmed case
- Region and Centre Presidents are to thoroughly evaluate all service activities involving members of the public or the use of public venues.
- Activities such as nursing home visits and soup kitchens should not proceed without a review of risks and precautionary measures with the organisations leading the service activity
- Non-essential service projects are to be put on hold after careful review of the risks, together with the organisation responsible for the activity
- Activities involving large groups of people need to have precautionary measures introduced.
Here are useful links for your reference:
From Australian Authorities:
• Information on the COVID-19 Virus
As an organisation, we urge members to continue regular prayers. All Centres are requested to commence devotional gatherings with the Sai Gayatri for 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the gathering to pray for the welfare of Australia and the world.
If members have any questions, please contact your Centre Presidents. The situation will be reviewed by the National Council every 3 weeks or as changes are advised.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 19 MARCH
CENTRES AND GROUPS MEETINGS AND MANY SERVICE ACTIVITIES ARE TEMORARILY CANCELLED INCLUDING MANY OF THEIR OTHER ACTIVITIES. This is under regular review with the first review scheduled towards the end of April. Please use the LOCATIONS link to ascertain the status of your local group.