Precautionary Measures to Follow This Eid to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
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Considering the spike in COVID-19 cases following last Eid, there is a very real risk of a spike in coronavirus cases following the upcoming Eid Al Adha holidays, if proper SOPs are not followed. Doctors and government officials are repeatedly warning the public that although the curve seems to be flattening, what will truly determine the severity of COVID-19 is how we choose to spend the impending Eid holidays.

We must take responsibility for our health and the health of our loved ones, and continue to follow the proper SOPs in order to prevent the spread of this virus. Here are some SOPs to consider this Eid to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from infection:

  • Try your best to not leave home and avoid all social visits, especially large gatherings
  • Use alternative slaughter arrangements instead of slaughtering animals at home
  • Avoid visiting cattle markets to purchase animals
  • Disinfect hands regularly and we ara mask
  • Avoid coming into close contact with anyone (DO NOT embrace or hug as is customary on Eid)
  • Sit in a room with ample ventilation, preferably without air conditioning (if possible, entertain outdoors)
  • Maintain a physical distance of approximately 6 feet from one another
  • Disinfect your hands regularly throughout the course of the visit
  • Avoid exchanging qurbani meat or gifts, if you do please disinfected all items thoroughly
  • Keep visits as short as possible
  • Avoid eating or drinking while visiting

Mass gatherings should be avoided at all costs this Eid. However, you may face a situation where such a gathering cannot be avoided. In cases such as this, there are some key points you must consider before attending any large gathering:

  • Handshakes and hugs must be avoided at all times
  • Maintain physical distance of at least 2 meters between each person
  • Always wear a mask (properly wearing a mask means your nose and mouth MUST be covered)
  • Take your own prayer mat and do not leave it behind after prayers
  • Discourage the sick, children and the elderly from attending prayers or other large gatherings
  • Ensure that an adequate amount of ventilation is present
  • Ensure that members of the same household are sitting together instead of opting out for a mixed seating arrangement

Travel is another activity that needs to be avoided this Eid. It has been advised that only minimal and necessary travel should be undertaken during these holidays to prevent the spread of the virus. However, if you must travel this Eid, please consider the following:

  • Only undertake minimal, necessary travel during these holidays
  • Please do not travel if you are feeling unwell or suffering from cough, flu or fever
  • Always wear a mask and gloves when traveling, and use a hand sanitizer frequently
  • Avoid public transportation at all costs
  • Use hand sanitizer, disinfectant sprays and carry extra tissues, masks and gloves in case of emergencies

There is another likely risk this Eid, and that is the potential of a Congo virus outbreak due to the slaughtering of livestock. Pakistan’s National Institute of Health has expressed concerns over the increased risk of transmission of a deadly disease named Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF). This is primarily due to increased human-animal interaction during the upcoming Bakra Eid. It has stated that the increased human-animal interaction during movement, purchase and herding of sacrificial animals ahead of Eid multiplies the risks of the CCHF. Here are some of the precautions you should take to prevent transmission of CCHF:

  • During visits to cattle markets,use full sleeves and light colored cloths, gloves, face mask, hand sanitizers and manage social distancing
  • Use insect repellents to save yourself from ticks
  • Use hand washing and hand sanitization items to disinfect and clean your hands
  • Check clothes and skin carefully for the presence of ticks while visiting the cattle market (never crush a tick with your hands)
  • Avoid all crowded places including large family gatherings and sacrifice of animals
  • Use recommended tick sprays or showers for your purchased animals
  • Butchers should use appropriate gloves and long plastic shoes (gum boots) while slaughtering
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap after coming in contact with an animal or its blood
  • The water for animals should be stored properly and kept covered after use
  • The blood, skin, intestines and other remnants of animals must be disposed of properly
  • The sanitation should be maintained at places where animals are kept. It is preferable to perform fogging or fumigation at animal keeping sites where animals were present before and during Eid days.
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