Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, various social and religious activities linked with the festival of Eid-ul-Adha require following measures to avoid the risk of infection. These include travel inside the country, shopping for Eid in the markets, and going to Eid prayer venues, Cattle markets, and social gatherings. Not adhering to such precautions, these activities can accelerate spread of COVID-19.
This article provides precautions and guidelines to consider while celebrating the holy festival of Eid-ul-Adha, including social and religious gatherings and animal sacrifice.
Consider the following precautions to avoid risk of COVID-19 infection:
1. If you’re planning any travel or family visit, please consider that these activities can put you and your beloved ones at risk of infection. Social visits at Eid and general family get-togethers should be avoided or at least minimized.
2. Social distancing should be practiced by always maintaining a distance of at least 1 meter when going out or meeting other people.
3. Avoid crowded markets and keep the shopping to essentials or shop online.
4. Eid embracing and other physical contact should be avoided to stop the spread of infection.
5. Hand hygiene should be maintained and encouraged.
6. People who are unwell or have any symptoms of COVID-19 should avoid attending events and isolate themselves at home.
7. People aged 60 years and older and anyone with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease, chronic lung disease, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, immunosuppression, and cancer) should not attend gatherings, as they are at a higher risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19.
COVID-19 Prevention Measures for Eid Prayers
Follow the precautionary measures for Eid prayers given below:
- Perform ablution at home before going for Eid prayers.
- Always use face masks to cover your face and mouth.
- Bring your own prayer mat (Jan-e-Maaz).
- Don’t use carpets or mats in mosques.
- In case of Eid prayers on floors, make sure that proper disinfection was carried out before the prayers.
- Avoid close physical contact, holding and shaking hands and hugging as it increases the possibility of spreading the infection.
- Don’t’ use water dispensers and coolers at the mosque.
- For ventilation, make sure that windows and doors of the mosque are kept open.
- Sick, elderly, and children under 15 years of age should avoid attending Eid prayers at the mosque/Eid gah.
Preventive Measures at Cattle Markets
The following preventive measures at cattle markets can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection:
- Online animal purchase should be preferred.
- When visiting the market always wear a face mask.
- Don’t shake hands and avoid any physical contact with sellers and customers.
- Anyone suffering from fever, cough, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms should not visit the Cattle market.
- Properly sanitize your hand before and after visiting Cattle markets.
- Unnecessary touching of surfaces at the Cattle market should be avoided.
Preventive Measures for Animal Sacrifice
To avoid the risk of COVID-19 infection, the following preventive measures during animal sacrifice need to be followed:
- The site of animal sacrifice should be away from public and residential areas.
- Crowding at the animal sacrifice site should be avoided.
- Promotion of good respiratory and hand hygiene by butchers and others present at the site should be encouraged.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth, especially when your hands are not clean.
- Gloves and masks should be used during slaughter and handling of meat.
- If soap and water are not available for handwashing, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cleaning and Disinfecting After Animal Sacrifice
- To remove germs from surfaces, cleaning with detergent and water, followed by rinsing and drying is the most effective way.
- Where possible, use disposable cloths/ towels and disposable mop heads.
- If a disinfectant is not easily available, you can use 1 tablespoon bleach with 1 gallon water to disinfect frequently used surfaces. However, do not mix bleach with other cleaning products, since this can cause serious injuries. Avoid contact of the bleach with your skin or clothes, wear rubber or other non-porous gloves, boots and eye protection. Furthermore, keep the bleach away from the reach of children. See more guidelines for making a disinfectant using bleach from these guidelines.
For more details, read this Bolo article on disinfecting your home and workplace during COVID-19.
Sehat Tahaffuz Helpline
You can visit the Government of Pakistan’s COVID-19 Health Advisory Platform to get updates on COVID-19 and see these detailed guidelines on SOPs related to Eid-ul-Adha. You can also call the Sehat Tahaffuz Helpline at 1166 for further guidance.
To receive personalized guidance on different service options in the country, including COVID-19 precautions during Eid-ul-Adha, you can send us a private message on the Bolo Facebook Page, the Bolo team responds to questions from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.