Animal slaughter at Medan Grand Mosque scrapped over COVID-19 fears

Animal slaughter at Medan Grand Mosque scrapped over COVID-19 fears

An officer checked the health of sacrified animals in Medan. (Doc. ANTARA PHOTO/ Siswowidodo)

Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Medan Grand Mosque administrator decided to not follow the practice of animal slaughter for this year's Idul Adha festivity to avoid congregation of recipients of the sacrificed animals' meat amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Hence, this year, the Medan Grand Mosque administration does not conduct animal slaughter," Hendra D. S., the mosque's secretary for welfare affairs, told local journalists in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra Province, on Friday.

In the previous years, some three thousand people witnessed the slaughter of sacrificed cows and goats and awaited the distribution of donated meat at the mosque complex area, he noted.

"We do not want to take a risk amid the COVID-19 situation, so the sacrificed animals that we received, from both agencies and individuals, are all given to the North Sumatra provincial government," Hendra D. S. stated.

Unlike the Medan Grand Mosque administrator's policy, several mosque administrators throughout Indonesia are following the tradition of animal slaughter during this year's Idul Adha festivity.

Those administering the Al Mujtahidin Mosque in Abepura neighborhood of Jayapura City, Papua Province, confirmed to have received three cows for slaughter, and their meat will be donated to the local residents.

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 huge rise 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 were 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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