My Sandwell Login/Register

UKHSA, Sikh community and Sandwell Council launch COVID-19 support programme for festival | Sandwell Council

Updates from the council on Covid-19

Check the latest advice on Covid-19 →

UKHSA, Sikh community and Sandwell Council launch COVID-19 support programme for festival

Published 19th November 2021

A new COVID-19 support programme helps families celebrate Guru Nanak Dev Ji today

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), in partnership with the Sikh community and Sandwell Council, has launched a new COVID-19 support programme to help families safely come together and celebrate the birthday of the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak Dev Ji today (19 November).

Amongst the youngest of the major world religions, the Sikh faith has around 30 million followers worldwide, making it the fifth largest organised religion in the world.

During the celebration and beyond, the UKHSA is supporting local Gurdwaras, promoting and distributing Rapid Lateral Flow testing packs, delivering PCR tests, improving the ability to self-isolate and supporting access to self-isolation payments.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UKHSA, said: “Working with local communities to help keep them safe is a critical part of our work. We are delighted to be supporting the Sikh community to help the important celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birthday take place as safely as possible.

“Around one in three people with the virus do not display symptoms, making it really easy to pass on the infection unknowingly. That is why Rapid Lateral Flow testing is such an important tool – it is a quick and easy way to detect asymptomatic cases of Covid-19.”

Jatinder Singh, President of Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick, said: “Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick Management Committee congratulates everyone on the Gurpurab of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak is the founder and first Guru of the Sikh faith. Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s key message of equality and contribution to society is of significance to people of all faiths and to those of no faith at all. 

“While celebrating at home with family or with the congregation at the Gurdwara, we would like to remind everyone to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus by washing hands often, keeping social distance and to ensure plenty of ventilation”. 

“We wish everyone a very happy and safe Gurpurab.”

Councillor Maria Crompton, Sandwell Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “Congratulations to all our friends and colleagues who are celebrating Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birthday today, and our heartfelt thanks for working with Sandwell Council and our health partners to help people to live healthy lives and to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.”

Dr Lisa McNally, Sandwell Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “On Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birthday I would like to say a big thank you to Sandwell’s Sikh community for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have helped us with everything from promoting infection control advice through to hosting vaccination clinics.

“We owe so much to all of our Sikh friends and colleagues in Sandwell.”

When someone who has COVID-19 coughs, talks or even just breathes, they release droplets which can be breathed in by another person.

When celebrating at indoor events in your community, or with friends and family, it’s important to let in fresh air to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus.

Rapid Lateral Flow tests have been distributed through local Gurdwaras so the community can attend the event with confidence, enabling them to isolate immediately if they were to test positive.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should book a PCR test. Those with a positive Rapid Lateral Flow test should get a follow up PCR test to confirm they have COVID-19.

You can order a PCR test kit to be sent to your home, or book an appointment at a test site (the text takes you to a web link).

You can order Rapid Lateral Flow test kits to be sent to your home (the text takes you to a web link). Or you can get up to two packs of seven rapid tests from a local pharmacy.

Find out more information about COVID-19 testing (the text takes you to a web link).

Change cookie consent