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May 14, 2021

Muted Eid celebrations amid ‘stay home’ curbs

 
May 14, 2021

Ag Agencies

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday celebrated a decidedly muted Eidul Fitr as authorities enforced “stay home, stay safe” restrictions to put the brakes on a third wave of the coronavirus that threatened to engulf the country as it did in neighbouring India.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, extending his Eidul Fitr greetings to the Muslim Ummah stressed for the observance of the holy occasion in “a quiet manner” considering the Covid-19 pandemic. The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) once again reminded people to stay home and stay safe.

His tweets came as Pakistan recorded another 3,265 cases and 126 deaths in the 24 hours leading to Eid. The coronavirus test positivity ratio was 8.35 per cent, well above the WHO’s decline mark of 5 per cent. Over 113,000 vaccines were administered a day earlier.

The Prime Minister tweeted: “This is a very different Eid which we must celebrate in a quiet manner with our families, for two important reasons. One: there is the corona pandemic. In Pakistan we are now again beginning to control the spread so it is vital for our people to observe SOPs.”

Across the country, Eid prayers were held in open areas, mosques and Eidgahs as per NCOC guidelines following SOPs and other measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. The faithful prayed for Kashmir and Palestine and the prosperity of the country.

Traffic was thin on roads and public transport stands also closed. Intra- and inter-city transport was also banned as authorities wanted to limit mobility. A day earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah urged the people to take precautions as coronavirus cases jumped by 30 per cent after Eid last year.

In a second tweet, the Prime Minister elaborated the second reason for the muted Eid celebrations and said it was equally significant for showing solidarity with the Kashmiri and Palestinians suffering from occupation powers’ oppression.

“Two, equally critical, is the need for us all to show solidarity with the Kashmiris and Palestinians who are suffering oppression by occupation powers in complete violation of their international guaranteed basic human rights,” he added.