Eid Al Fitr, the most important festival for the world’s 1.8 billion followers of Islam is here. The festival marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic calendar’s holiest month when believers abstain from food and water from dawn to dusk.
The ritual of fasting is the same for all — those living in very hot regions, extremely cold parts of the planet to places where daylight stretches beyond 12 hours. This Eid, considered a reward after the gruelling monthlong ritual of fasting, is going to be extra-ordinary for many reasons.
Gatherings of friends and relatives is the central part of all religions festivals, including Eid. Today, these gatherings have become a threat to public health.
The UAE has announced a series of measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus during Eid. Restrictions are in place for the national disinfection drive from 8pm to and 6am and mosques will remain shut during Eid. Hefty fines will be imposed on those organising Eid gatherings at home and those attending them
Many countries in the region, including in the heart of Islamic world, have imposed weeklong restrictions to protect people from the pandemic. In Saudi Arabia, for example, a nationwide curfew will begin on the last day of Ramadan and extend till the end of Eid holidays.
Similar announcements have been made by Kuwait where a total curfew is in place and Oman has banned Eid gatherings of any kind.
Here in the UAE, the word of caution has come from the very top. Addressing a Majlis on Thursday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, appealed to people to stay safe, be responsible and follow social distancing guidelines, especially during the last days of Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr.
Use modern technology
“Let’s celebrate Eid Al Fitr with modern technology, as we do not want infections to surge, for each infection has a huge impact on others,” he said.
The UAE has announced a series of measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus during Eid. Restrictions are in place for the national disinfection drive from 8pm to and 6am and mosques will remain shut during Eid. Hefty fines will be imposed on those organising Eid gatherings at home and those attending them.
The message is clear — public health is top priority and all must comply. Today, the biggest reward is to stay healthy by celebrating Eid without putting anyone at risk. Even small acts, as innocuous as handing over Eidiya to children, pose a serious risk. Officials have warned that pathogens may be spread by exchanging currency notes.
Similarly, avoid exchanging Eid greetings in traditional manners of hugging and kissing except with very close family members. People must understand that many carriers of the pathogen remain asymptomatic and extra caution is required.