07/19/2021, 12.38
INDONESIA
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Public prayers for Eid al-Adha banned because of COVID-19

by Mathias Hariyadi

Tomorrow is the Muslim festival of the sacrifice. With about 50,000 new daily cases, the government has banned public celebrations and issued strict health protocols for the slaughter of animals. For experts, post-Ramadan travel contributed to the current health crisis.

 

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia’s central government has banned all celebrations related to Eid al-Adha – the Muslim festival of sacrifice celebrated tomorrow, also known as Hajj Lebaran in Indonesia.

The Ministry for Religious Affairs made the announcement yesterday noting that public prayers are prohibited in places of worship.

The decree also called for strict health protocols to be applied to the slaughter of animals, urging the public to rely only on the country's official slaughterhouses, which will distribute meat house to house.

The decision is motivated by the high number of coronavirus cases. With a weekly average of over 50,000 cases per day, Indonesia is now considered Asia’s new epicentre of the pandemic.

According to health experts, religious gatherings that followed Eid al-Fitr (the holiday that ends the holy month of Ramadan) and the consequent movements of people in late May contributed to the current health crisis.

Medical oxygen is in short supply and several doctors and nurses are among the victims of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, especially the Delta variant, which appeared for the first time in India.

The head of the national COVID-19 task force, Wiku Adisasmitoe, said that the new rules will be applied with particular force on the islands of Bali and Java, where tight travel restrictions will be in force until the end of the month.

He also advised the population to avoid gatherings, such as public recitation of the takbir, the public expression of faith, and all other celebrations.

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