NCOC issues Covid protocols for Eid ul Azha prayers and sacrifice amid the increase in coronavirus cases across the country.
After witnessing a spike in COVID cases in June, officials fear that the infections would spread further due to shopping and the celebrations leading up to Eid ul Adha.
The National Command and Operation Centre in its notification related to guidelines said that “Individual Qurbani may be allowed, however, collective will be preferred.”
NCOC has cautioned that under no circumstances should people be allowed to enter prayer venues without masks.
Guidelines for Eid prayer
- Prayers should be organized in open spaces
- In case of any compulsion to offer prayers inside mosques, then all windows and doors should be kept open for ventilation
- Preferably two to three prayers should be organized at one single venue with staggered timings to afford an opportunity for maximum people to offer prayers
- All Ulemas leading prayers should be sensitized to keep sermons and khutbas short so that people remain present at the prayer venue for a short time
- Efforts should be made to discourage sick, elderly, and young children
- Under no circumstances, people should be allowed to enter the prayer venue without a proper face mask
- There should be multiple entries and exit points at prayer venues to avoid jumbling up of individuals to prevent the transmission of disease
- Venue organizers should ensure the availability of a sufficient quantity of hand sanitizers at the entry points. It should be mandatory for all worshippers to use sanitizers before entering the venue
- Efforts should be made to discourage people from embracing and handshaking after the prayer to avoid disease transmission
- There should not be any gathering at the prayer venue before the prayer and people should be asked to disperse immediately after prayers
Management of sacrifice
- Efforts will be made to promote central/collective sacrifice through various public, private, and community organizations while ensuring adherence to Covid-19 protocol, including wearing masks, social distancing, and staying away from crowds
- Continuous engagements will be ensured by provinces with Ulemas for encouraging people to central/collective and online sacrifice
- Provinces to initiate awareness campaigns to educate the masses on the possible spread of Covid during meat distribution; therefore, care must be exercised in meat handling/distribution
- The site of slaughtering should be away from residential areas and preferably in open, vast spaces
- Crowding at slaughtering sites should be avoided, and minimum numbers of people should be present at the site
- Any other measures as deemed appropriate to contain the virus
Earlier this week, Abdul Qadir Patel, the federal health minister expressed concerns over the rising number of critical Covid-19 patients.
He has ordered all concerned stakeholders to remain alert.