COVID-19: Pakistan issues guidelines for Eidul Adha

10:21 PM | 29 Jun, 2021
COVID-19: Pakistan issues guidelines for Eidul Adha
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The Federal Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation, and Coordination on Tuesday issued guidelines for Eidul Azha in line with the SOPs announced by the government to slow the spread of novel coronavirus.

It has issued guidelines for general public, buyers and sellers in order to avoid the resurgence of the deadly virus through social distancing and preventive measures during slaughtering of animals and Eid prayers.  

The documents says that new strains of the coronavirus are spreading rapidly in the country, adding that it is crucial to control the infection before it turns into a fourth wave of the pandemic.

As per the guidelines, eid prayers should be offered in an open-air space outside a mosque or the ground, besides asking people to avoid crowding.

"These guidelines propose measures to ensure continued and uninterrupted prayers for Muslims on Eid-ul-Adha while minimising the risk of acquiring and transmitting infection," it said.

It has asked the public to avoid minimal necessary travel during Eid holidays as the risk of a new wave of COVID-19 is looming.

"Social visits at Eid and general family get-togethers should be avoided, while Eid Shopping should only be restricted to minimal essentials and crowding in markets should be avoided at all costs," it said.

It also advised public to avoid hugging each other on the occasion of Eid as physical contact triggers the spread of virus.

"The public is advised to protect themselves and their loved ones by being mindful and avoiding this practice on Eid ul Adha," the guidelines read.

Social distancing at cattle markets

Local authorities, according to Geo News, have been directed to take the following measures,

Encourage the online buying, e-selling, and slaughter arrangements of the animals as much as possible in their cities/towns.

Should allocate large enough spaces away from populated areas for animal markets/mandiis.

Must get the markets set under their supervision while allocating the space to the animal vendors. All vendors should strictly follow physical/social distancing principles.

Must ensure that every individual visiting the marker (buyer/seller) must wear a face mask properly (covering nose and mouth) at all times. Those without face masks should not be allowed to enter the market/ mandii.

Must ensure the availability of thermal guns at the entrance and allow customers only after checking their temperature and screening them for symptoms of cough and sore throat.

Must designate individuals at the entrance and exit of the market with alcohol-based hand sanitiser (at least 70% alcohol) who would ensure that each customer sanitises their hand before entering and on leaving the market.

Must ensure that space does not get crowded, allow people to enter the market only in small groups at intervals.

Must monitor the adherence to the guidelines by the sellers and buyers during business hours.

Should ensure the public display of notices promoting hand hygiene and social distancing.

Should provide medical aid post/first aid post for medical advice if needed by the customers/sellers within close proximity of the animal market/mandii.

Animal vendors/ sellers

It is mandatory for all animal vendors and sellers to get vaccinated with any of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines. Those without evidence of vaccination (first dose or complete course) may not be allowed to conduct business in the market.

Every seller must wear a face mask properly (cover nose and mouth) at all times.

The seller should wash their hands with soap and water frequently or use an alcohol-based (70%) hand sanitiser.

Stalls should be set up at a distance of at least two metres from each other while ensuring adequate space between animals. The supporting arrangements must be made by the local authority.

Seller and customers should try and maintain a safe distance of two metres.

Seller and customer must not shake hands and avoid any other physical contact

The seller must keep a disinfection formulation with 0.5% diluted bleach or 60%-80% dilute alcohol solution to disinfect the most frequently used surfaces by customers.

Each salesperson must ensure the use of gloves for touching the animals.

Any seller with symptoms of cough, sore throat, fever etc., would not be allowed to sell animals in the market. They would be required to arrange a replacement for themselves.

Each seller must ensure queue control and maintaining the advised two metres distance in his allocated space in the market/ mandii.

The sellers must keep themselves aware of the updated instructions issued by the government and ensure strict compliance with them.

Customers/ buyers

The buyer must wear a surgical/medical mask properly (cover nose and mouth) at all times.

Must not go to the market/ mandii if they are suffering from fever, cough, sore throat or flu-like symptoms.

Sanitise hands before and after visiting the market/ mandii.

Should not touch animals without gloves.

Should avoid touching the surfaces in the market/ mandii unnecessarily.

Maintain two metres distance from the salesperson or other customers within the market/ mandii.

Follow the safety guidance provided by the local management and cooperate with the staff

If a customer observes non-compliance to the guidelines by the individual seller, remind them and/or inform local authorities.

Social distancing, infection prevention and control during slaughtering of animals

The preventive measures that should be followed during slaughtering activity include the following.

The site of slaughtering should be away from the general public and living areas.

Crowding at slaughtering should be avoided; only those who are necessary may be allowed at the site.

Try and maintain a distance of two metres.

Promote good respiratory hygiene. Cough or sneeze into bent elbows.

Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth, especially when hands are not clean.

Use gloves and masks during slaughter and handling of meat. PPE provides a barrier to protect the person from potential exposure to hazards.

Wash visibly soiled hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, rub your hands for 20-30 seconds with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains 60-80% alcohol.

General cleaning and disinfecting principles

Environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures should be followed consistently and correctly before and after the slaughtering of animals.

Cleaning with detergent and water, followed by rinsing and drying, is the most useful method for removing germs from surfaces.

Disinfecting or using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces, can further lower the risk of spreading infection. After applying a disinfectant, wait for the required exposure time to ensure it kills germs on the surface. Once the contact time has elapsed, the disinfectant may be rinsed with clean water.

Where possible, use disposable cloths/ towels and disposable mop heads. Alternatively, ensure used cloths and mop heads are laundered and dried after use to minimise contamination.

Dilute bleach may be used to disinfect frequently used surfaces.

General preventive measures at Eidgah/ open grounds for Eid prayers

Perform wudhu at home

Separate entrances and exits should be made in a one-way system to prevent bottlenecks.

Thermal screening for all worshippers at entry points of Eidgah

Hand sanitiser at entrances/exits, making it mandatory for all people to use it before entering and on exiting.

Every person should wear a face/surgical mask properly to cover the nose and mouth.

Mark out prayer spaces clearly using measuring instruments to make social distancing of three feet easy to follow.

Worshippers should bring their own prayer mat /janamaz

No carpets or mats to be laid down in mosques.

The short duration of pre-prayer sermons and post prayers khutbah. Imams should deliver sermons on the topic of the pandemic and preventative measures that the Government of Pakistan has taken in order to slow the spread to give individuals an active role in promoting the health and safety of the members of society.

Clean floors for prayers must be ensured by washing them with chlorinated water regularly.

Close physical contact, holding and shaking hands and hugging pose a great risk of disease transmission and must be avoided.

Water coolers should not be used.

Eid prayers in mosques

Thermal screening for all persons entering the mosques at the entry gates should be arranged.

Provision of hand sanitiser at the gates of mosques.

Mosques must close no later than 10 minutes after the prayer ends.

Imams should deliver sermons on the topic of the virus and preventative measures that the Government of Pakistan has taken in order to slow the spread to give individuals an active role in promoting the health and safety of the members of society.

Windows and doors of the mosques should be kept open for good ventilation during the duration of the prayer.

No carpets or mats to be laid down in mosques because the virus is airborne.

Clean floors for prayers must be ensured by washing them with chlorinated water regularly

Every person should wear a face/surgical mask.

Worshippers should bring their own prayer mat / janamaz and not leave them behind after the prayer.

Encourage people to perform wudhu at home.

People must avoid handshakes.

orshipers must maintain social distancing by keeping two meters’ distance between each other and every other row should be left empty.

Water coolers should not be used.

Restrooms and ablution sections must be closed.

Avoid crowding when entering or exiting the mosques.

Discourage the sick and elderly and children under 15 years of age from attending prayers.

Discourage socialising within the mosques after prayer.