No congregation prayers, Eid-ul-Azha to be celebrated today

A shoe-seller waiting for customers on Eid-ul-Azha eve in Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel
A shoe-seller waiting for customers on Eid-ul-Azha eve in Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Doctors advise adherence to SOPs during Qurbani

Irfan Tramboo

Srinagar, July 31: As Eid-ul-Azha is being celebrated tomorrow with no congregational prayers amid COVID-19 lockdown due to spike in deaths and positive cases.
The preparations for it remained low-key despite relaxation in lockdown for three days that allowed people to buy essentials.
The main attraction for this Eid has always been the sacrificial animals. This year the sale of these animals has been only one third as people majority of the people preferred not to offer sacrifices due to COVID scare and economic slowdown.
Amid the spread of the pandemic the authorities have not allowed any congregational prayers to take place across Kashmir.
The major Eid congregations are normally held at Eidgah in Srinagar, Hazratbal and other major Masjids across Kashmir Valley.
The Masjids and shrines including Dargah Hazratbal and historic Jamia Masjid in old City area of Srinagar have remained locked for the devotees as a precautionary measure in the wake of the Coronavirus since March this year.
The Eidul Fitr was also celebrated amid the pandemic but at that time the situation with regard to the pandemic was not so grave. However, the Eidul Adha is being celebrated at a time when COVID-19 cases have crossed 20, 000 with death toll mounting to 378.
While the lockdown was in place, the authorities had allowed the essential shops to open ahead of Eid and people were allowed to go shopping for Eid with adherence to the SOPs.
On Friday, people were seen shopping for clothes and bakery while the livestock market in the old city’s Eidgah was also jam-packed as the people were busy buying livestock in order to sacrifice them during three days of Eid celebrations.
The ritual of sacrificing animals has witnessed a decline this year as people said that it is risky these days to go out, visit relatives and distribute the meat.
“It exposes one to risk, so I thought, not carry it out this year,” said Latief Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar.
With this, the sale of sacrificial animals has also come down. Those associated with this trade said that few people are buying sacrificial animals. They also said that the decline in the trade is being witnessed for the first time.
With regard to taking due care when carrying out the Qurbani on Eid, the scholars, as well as the doctors, have asked people to follow SOPs while doing so.
A doctor told Excelsior that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that sacrifice of animals will be in any way harmful if protocols and advisories are followed.
The scholars, while saying that there is no alternative to the Qurbani, have asked people to adhere to the guidelines in order to prevent the infection from spreading.
The doctors advised that the distribution of meat to neighbours, poor people or orphanages should be done following protocols by wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, and physical distancing.