WHO issues guidelines to stay safe from COVID-19 this Eid al-Adha -- here's what you need to know
Read the World Health Organisation's set of guidelines for safe celebrations in view of the COVID-19 threat.
As Muslims kick off Eid al-Adha festivities amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued guidelines for social and religious practices and gatherings during the festival.
Besides advising people on following social distancing and sanitary measures during the Eid congregational prayers, the WHO guidelines also explain how to deal with the slaughter of sheep without the risk of COVID-19 transmission among humans or from humans to animals.
As Eid al Adha approaches, maintaining preventive measures is ????️ to prevent & minimize the spread of #COVID19 during social & religious ???? gatherings.— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 31, 2020
WHO guidance provide essential information on safe #EidAlAdha practices ????https://t.co/r4DODGh4Y0pic.twitter.com/hBYunrC40u
Countries should also take strict measures ???? around the selling & slaughtering of animals and the distribution of meat. Ideally, there should not be slaughtering on site.— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 29, 2020
More details ????https://t.co/r4DODGh4Y0 #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/7zm3fg3jfB
The UN agency has advised against slaughtering animals that appear sick and laid emphasis on procuring animals through a trusted official procedure. It also advised people to perform adequate veterinary checks for livestock to mitigate other zoonosis and infection.
“There is evidence of COVID-19 transmission at the human-animal interface. Current evidence suggests that humans infected with SARS-CoV-2 can infect other mammals. However, it remains unclear whether or not these infected mammals pose a significant risk for transmission back to humans. Nevertheless, other zoonotic diseases are associated with livestock and have resulted in disease outbreaks,” WHO said in the Bakrid guidelines.
It said there should be dedicated space for quarantine and isolation of suspected ill animals. “Perform adequate veterinary checks for livestock to mitigate other zoonosis and infection. Discourage slaughter at home and increase the number or capacity of slaughter facilities to encourage best practices and ensure safety and physical distancing standards. Slaughter facilities and equipment should be properly maintained,” it said.
ADVICE ON PHYSCIAL DISTANCING
The WHO suggested practicing physical distancing by strictly maintaining a distance of at least 1 metre between people at all times. If physical distancing cannot be achieved, wearing a fabric mask is recommended, it said.
It suggested use of culturally and religiously sanctioned greetings that avoid physical contact, such as waving, nodding or placing hand over the heart.
“Prohibit large numbers of people gathering in public places associated with Eid activities such as markets, shops and mosques. If allowed, a mechanism should be in place to regulate such activities and avoid gathering of people,” the WHO guidelines said.
The agency also said that when the faithful distribute meat, consider the physical distancing measures in place and encourage nominating one household member to perform and order the sacrifice, preferably through centralized agencies or services.
It advised to avoid the crowded gathering associated with distribution of meat, and consider using centralized entities, agencies, and institutions, which should adhere to physical distancing throughout the whole cycle (collecting, packaging, storing and distribution).
On Friday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus extended Eid greetings on Twitter. Take a look: