Govt issues COVID-19 guidelines for Eidul Azha

Roman AhmedWeb Editor

29th Jun, 2021. 09:58 pm
bakra eid

The Federal Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation, and Coordination on Tuesday issued guidelines for Eidul Azha with the government’s coronavirus SOPs.

According to the government, the health guidelines provided to the general public as well as buyers and sellers to alleviate the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing and precautionary measures during the slaughtering of animals and during Eid prayers on the occasion of Eid ul Adha.

Per the guidelines, new variants of the novel coronavirus are spreading rapidly, therefore, it is crucial to control the number of transmissions to avoid facing a new wave of the pandemic.

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

“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.

“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 animal markets/ mandiis 

According to the guidelines, local authorities 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 sanitizer (at least 70% alcohol) who would ensure that each customer sanitizes 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/mandi.

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 sanitizer.
  • Stalls should be set up at a distance of at least two meters 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 meters.
  • 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 meters 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/ mandi 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 meters 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 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 meters.
  • 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 sanitizer 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 minimize 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 sanitizer 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 sanitizer 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.
  • Worshipers 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 socializing within the mosques after prayer.

 

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