ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Tuesday issued fresh guidelines on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, making face-mask and social distancing mandatory.
“Being a significant religious event/congregation, Eid-uI-Azha prayer and Qurbani assumes greater importance under the current COVID situation in the country,” the NCOC said in a statement today.
Following guidelines will be adhered to for safe management of Eid prayers and Qurbani to prevent disease spread:-
Eid prayers SOPs
- Eid-ul-Azha prayers should be organized in open spaces under stringent Covid-19 protocols. In case of any compulsion to offer the prayers inside mosques; then all windows and doors should be kept open for ventilation / to minimize the chances of disease spread.
- Preferably 2-3 Eid prayers should be organized at one single venue with staggered timings to allow maximum people to offer prayers with COVID-19 protocols.
- All Ulemas leading Eid prayers should be sensitized to keep sermons and Khutbaas short so that people remain present in the prayer venues for a brief duration of time.
- Efforts should be made to discourage sick, elderly and young children from attending Eid prayers.
- Under no circumstances, people should be allowed to enter the prayer venue without a proper face mask.
- There should be multiple entry and exit points at the prayer venue to avoid jumbling up of individuals/prevent transmission of disease.
- Venue organizers should ensure the availability of a sufficient quantity of hand sanitisers at the entry points. It should be mandatory for all coming for prayers to use sanitisers before entering the venue.
- To ensure social distancing protocols, venue organizers should ensure prominent marking (6 feet apart) to allow sufficient space/distance between individuals.
- People should be encouraged to perform abulution at home before coming for the prayers and also bring their own prayer mats to the venue.
- Efforts should be made to sensitize people to refrain from embracing and handshaking after the prayer to avoid chances of disease transmission.
- There should not be any gathering at the prayer venue before the prayer and people should be asked to disperse immediately after the prayer.
- Efforts will be made to promote and encourage central/collective Qurbani through various public, private and community organisations, while ensuring adherence to COVID-19 protocols of mask-wearing, social distancing and avoidance of crowd etc.
- Continuous engagements will be ensured by provinces with Ulemas for encouraging people for central/collective and online Qurbani.
- Individual Qurbani may be allowed, however collective will be preferred.
- Provinces to initiate awareness campaigns to educate the masses on the possible spread of COVID-19 during meat distribution; therefore, care must be exercised in meat handling/distribution.
- The site of slaughtering should be away from residential areas and preferably at open/vast spaces.
- Crowding at slaughtering should be avoided, a minimum number of persons should be allowed to be present at the site.
- Any other measure as deemed appropriate to contain disease spread.