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Skipping family bonding time on Eidul Fitr amid COVID-19 outbreak


May 24, 2020

Rawalpindi : Saeeda Bibi, a 52-year-old woman, did not go back to her hometown in Sindh, during the holy month of Ramazan this year following the government’s restriction on transport and fear of coronavirus in her native province.

Saeeda, has been living in Islamabad with her 60-year-old husband for more than 30 years.

The couple, living in Muslim Town, usually return to their hometown to celebrate Eidul al-Fitr - the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramazan - with their two children and three grandchildren.

“I’m wondering what it would be like to celebrate Eidul Fitr without my grandchildren. The moment would be so different,” said Saeeda.

Another migrant in the capital, Rizwan Ghani, will also not return to his hometown in south Punjab, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ghani, who has worked as a taxi driver for more than three years, had planned to celebrate the holy day with his family in Bhara Khau.

“I just got married earlier this year and planned to introduce my wife to my family and relatives in my village. It’s very unfortunate as this won’t happen,” said the 27-year-old man.

Zahid Khan, a resident of Mardan was of the view that moving out of the city at a time when his hometown Mardan had reported several cases of coronavirus is not safe and he had no intention of moving out of town with his family.

Salman Khan said that intra-city movement at the time of pandemic in public transport is a grave danger and he could not take the risk with his young family.

“If you have your own arrangement of transport then it is convenient like and my sister and brother in law who will be returning with their young son, from Faisalabad soon,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged upon the general public to follow safety procedures against coronavirus during Eid holidays.

Even Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali at a press conference last week had also asked people not to travel to their villages for Eid so the spread of the virus could be contained. He feared that the spread of COVID-19 in cities has already overburdened the health system of the country and if the spreads in villages, where health resources were scarce and access to facilities was difficult, it would be tough for the government to cope with the crisis.

The COVID-19 cases in Pakistan with a population totalling over 212 million surpassed 52,437 on Saturday. Meanwhile, the total number of fatalities rose to over 1,101.