• Sunday, August 14, 2022

BANGLADESH

COVID-19 dampens festive spirits in Bangladesh, Pakistan

Muslim devotees offer a special prayer at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque to start the Eid-al-Fitr festival marking the end of the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadan in Dhaka on May 25, 2020. (Photo by REHMAN ASAD/AFP via Getty Images)

By: PramodKumar

THE COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns coupled with travel restrictions and social distancing norms have muted the Ramadan celebrations in Pakistan and Bangladesh as worshippers in the two Muslim-majority countries marked the end of Ramadan in strictly-regulated prayer congregations.

A large number of people in the two countries were forced to stay indoors due to the fears of contracting the COVID-19.

In Bangladesh, millions of Muslims joined the strictly-regulated prayer congregations across the country.  Thousands of worshippers attended the prayer services at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka while following the health and social distancing protocols to limit the spread of the COVID-19, local media reported.

Despite the government directive for children and senior citizens not to participate in Eid prayers, many children and people aged over 60 attended the Eid prayers. Although social distancing rules were maintained to a large extent, people were seen flouting the norms, the report said.

The COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh stand at 35,585 with 501 deaths on Monday (25). As many as 7,334 people have recovered from the deadly disease.

In Pakistan, the government has issued strict instructions to observe social distancing while offering Eid prayers and asked people to avoid visiting relatives and hosting parties.

As the railways remained closed, many people could not travel to their hometowns for the important festival. Eid congregations were held at open places, mosques and Eidgahs in all major cities and towns while following strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) of social distancing and other precautionary measures.

But in some areas, the people did not adhere to the SOPs and were seen thronging to their favourite shops to celebrate Eid. Pakistan prime minister’s special assistant on Health Zafar Mirza said the deadly infection would continue to multiply if precautions are not taken.

Pakistan’s COVID-19 cases on Monday (25) reached 56,349 with 1,748 new patients while the death toll climbed to 1,167 after 34 people lost their lives in the last 24 hours.

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan urged Pakistanis to forgo the traditional Eid festivity in view of the hundreds of fatalities caused by the COVID-19 and the lives lost in Friday’s plane crash in Karachi.

 

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