Indonesians celebrating Idul Adha should follow COVID-19 protocols

Indonesians celebrating Idul Adha should follow COVID-19 protocols

Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi (speaking). (ANTARA FOTO/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/wsj.)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi appealed to Indonesian Muslims nationwide to continue to follow preventive measures mandated in the COVID-19 protocols while performing the Idul Adha mass prayer, slaughtering animals, and distributing meat on Friday.

Those visiting mosques and partaking in other Idul Adha mass prayer congregations should also apply social and physical distancing measures in addition to not touching items that may potentially transmit the novel coronavirus disease, he notified journalists here on Thursday.

To this end, the tradition of giving infaq, or donation, prior to the mass prayer must also be practiced without touching the charity boxes, he emphasized.

Several mosque administrators had stopped distributing charity boxes to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus disease among members of the congregation. In its place, they have assigned certain individuals to collect the donations by using bags, he stated.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, Indonesian Muslims living in areas with zero or low number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are allowed to perform the Idul Adha mass prayer at both soccer fields and mosques, he revealed.

However, people living in areas with high number of COVID-19 cases are not allowed to perform the Idul Adha mass prayer on Friday morning, he stated.

This year, Idul Adha, marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage for Muslims in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, is celebrated amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During this religious festivity, Muslims in Indonesia sacrifice a goat, sheep, and cow. Their meat is then donated to the poor people and other segments of communities.

Coronavirus infections initially surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.

Since then, COVID-19 has spread to over 215 countries and territories, including 34 provinces of Indonesia, with a massive spurt in death toll.

The Indonesian government officially confirmed the country's first cases on March 2 this year.

As of July 27, 2020, as many as 43 Indonesian districts and cities had been declared "free from the pandemic", according to the Task Force on COVID-19 Response.

Data from the task force also showed that 66.3 percent or 341 districts and cities had until now recorded less than 100 cases.

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