Eid al-Adha is a time of celebration, and the devotion and love of Ibrahim towards Allah is celebrated. It is also the time for offering prayer, feasting on that which has been sacrificed and partaking of the feast with the needy and providing them with alms. Muslims around the world gather at mosques to offer their prayers and interact with their relatives in celebration but this can be problematic considering the pandemic that the world is undergoing currently.
It is imperative to maintain the proper safety procedures to ensure that more contamination does not take place during the celebration of this joyous occasion. As Eid al-Adha consists of masses of people gathering together in celebration, the World Health Organisation (WHO) have issued some guidelines that should be followed through the course of the celebration, to ensure everyone’s safety.
• Clean your hands frequently and follow proper coughing and sneezing etiquette.
• Maintain physical distance of at least 1 metre and if physical distancing cannot be achieved, wear a mask.
• If you are over the age of 60 or have any pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiac disease, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease or cancer, avoid attending Eid al-Adha prayers and gathering. The same applies if you are exhibiting any Covid-19 symptoms or are feeling unwell.
To maximize the safety of all attendees at prayers and family gatherings, these measures can be taken –
• Shorten the events to limit exposure.
• Maintain physical distancing, including while praying.
• Regulate flow of people at entrances and exits.
• Trace contacts if an ill person is identified among the attendees.
WHO has issued guidelines that the mosques holding Eid ul-Adha prayers should ensure –
• Availability of soap, water, and alcohol-based hand-rub.
• Use of personal prayer rugs.
• Visual displays of advice on safety measures against Covid-19
• Disposable tissues and bins for safe disposal
• Routine cleaning of frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Applying physical distancing measures of at least 1 metre.
While Covid-19 spreads primarily through human-to-human transmission, there is also evidence of transmission from humans to animals. In order to ensure cleanliness and safety during the ritual animal sacrifice, WHO has issued a guideline –
• Do not slaughter at home.
• Do not slaughter animals that appear sick.
• Procure animals through trusted official procedures.
• Nominate one household member to perform the sacrifice.
• Consider using centralized institutions to avoid overcrowding.
• Adhere to physical distancing and proper hand hygiene throughout the cycle (collection, packaging, storing and distribution)
Only those facilities that are following these precautions are deemed safe for slaughter of animals –
• Sanitation, e.g. hand washing facilities, clean walls and floors.
• Staff use protective measures and do not show symptoms.
• Waste materials are collected and disposed of.
• Adequate veterinary checks for livestock.
• Dedicated space for isolation of suspected sick animals.
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