All pagodas across the Kingdom yesterday held concurrent ceremonies to pray for blessing and protection as countries globally grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
Venerable Khim Sorn, chief of Phnom Penh municipal monks, said yesterday: “Our traditional beliefs dictate Buddha blesses the people with happiness. He will protect us from contracting diseases especially coronavirus, which is currently causing misery all around the world.”
Nevertheless, Ven Sorn said faith must be followed with action as he called on the people to observe and maintain good hygiene and follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health to prevent further spread of the virus.
Supreme Patriarch of Mohanikaya sect Non Nget, in a letter, said the chief monks have instructed all monks to educate themselves about the virus by watching informational guides and videos produced by the Health Ministry, international NGOs and the UNICEF.
“The monks and pagoda chiefs will beat drums in unison as they ask for the blessing of Buddha to rid the country of the virus,” said Ven Nget, adding the monks had been instructed to help people suspected of coronavirus infection to get to hospitals so they could receive proper medical attention.
Buddhist Doung Pov said she is a firm believer of the religion as well as its power to protect and heal the people from any kind of disease.
“Buddhist followers always pray with monks and listen to their teachings. We hope their prayers will bring good luck to the people who are gripped with fear due to the virus,” she said.
According to the Health Ministry, as of yesterday, the Kingdom has reported a total of 87 coronavirus diagnoses. Among those who tested positive are 35 Cambodians, 34 French, 12 Malaysians, three British, one Canadian, one Belgian and one Chinese.
To prevent its further spread, the ministry has advised people to practise regular handwashing, wearing protective masks as well as exercise social distancing and self-quarantine.