Jakarta (ANTARA) - Several foreign envoys in Jakarta, in their video greetings, wished Indonesian Muslims a happy and peaceful Eid al-Fitr, as they celebrate the religious festivity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The envoys of the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia posted their video greetings on their official Instagram and Twitter accounts.

UK Ambassador to Indonesia Owen Jenkins wished Indonesian Muslims a happy and healthy Eid al-Fitr festivity that should nonetheless be conducted in strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

Similar greetings were also expressed by Ambassador of Japan Kanasugi Kenji and Australian Chargé d'Affaires to Indonesia, Allaster Cox.

Despite the ongoing global pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease, Ambassador Kenji is optimistic of all Indonesian Muslims celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festivity with happiness.

Cox remarked that this year's festivity is held amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak that has put to test the bonds of several people with their beloved.

Apart from this pandemic situation, the Eid al-Fitr festivity will continue to bring peace and happiness, Cox stated in a video greeting posted on an official Twitter account.

Cox is also sanguine that Australia and Indonesia would continue their collaborative efforts to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health and economy.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan fulfilled his promise to perform the Eid al-Fitr prayer at home.

Along with some 30 people, Baswedan performed the prayer in the backyard of his house in the Lebak Bulus neighborhood, South Jakarta, on Thursday morning.

Some 30 people, including Baswedan’s wife and children, partook in the prayer that commenced at 7 a.m. Western Indonesia Time (WIB) and was led by Ustadz Afifudien Rohaly.

Following the prayer, conducted under strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols, Rohaly delivered the Eid al-Fitr sermon.

In the wake of the pandemic situation, Baswedan had earlier appealed to Muslims living in the capital city to perform the Eid al-Fitr prayer at home.

The governor urged Jakartans keen to perform the Eid al-Fitr prayer at mosques to approach the house of worship in the areas of their community units.

The capacity of mosques and soccer fields used for performing the Eid al-Fitr prayer must be reduced by up to 50 percent, he stated.

The Eid al-Fitr festivity, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, is celebrated by Muslims across the globe.

Traditionally, the Eid al-Fitr festivity is often regarded by Indonesian Muslims as a time to seek blessings and forgiveness from parents and to strengthen "silaturrahim," or the bonds of friendship.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, Vice President Ma'ruf Amin had earlier urged Indonesian Muslims to uphold "silaturrahim" virtually.

The novel coronavirus disease outbreak initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019 and then spread to various parts of the world, including to countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Indonesian government announced the country's first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.

Since then, the central and regional governments have made persistent efforts to flatten the coronavirus disease curve by imposing healthcare protocols and social restrictions.

To break the chain of transmission of COVID-19, which had impacted the purchasing power of scores of families in Indonesia, the government has banned homebound travel, or "mudik," ahead of this year's Eid al-Fitr holiday season akin to last year.

The Health Ministry has also confirmed the entry of three new coronavirus variants from India, South Africa, and the Great Britain into Indonesia.
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Translator: Yashinta DP, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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