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The Financial Express

Country witnesses a different Eid for corona pandemic

FE REPORT | Published: May 29, 2020 09:56:02


File photo used for representational purpose File photo used for representational purpose

The country's people like elsewhere in the world have celebrated the Eid-ul-Fitr this time amid pandemic COVID-19 that shrunk the festivities unprecedentedly with regulated and indoor congregations, social distancing, limited traveling and downturn of economic activities.

The Eid holiday began with the sighting of the moon on Sunday last in the country within a general holiday of long two and a half months that kept most of the public and private offices, shopping malls, markets and public transports shut.

A large number of people in the country were forced to stay indoors on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr due to the fears of contracting the novel coronavirus which has killed nearly 559 people and infected 40,321 until Thursday.

Despite restrictions, millions of Muslims joined the strictly-regulated prayer congregations across the country in different indoor facilities including mosques.

No Eid jamaat (congregation) was held at the National Eidgah this year.

However, National Mosque Baitul Mukarram held the first of its five subsequent Eid congregations at 7am in the morning where thousands of devotees attended the prayers.

"This is unprecedented, I have never imagined, even in my wildest dream, celebrating Eid such a way," Makhdum Hossain said after attending the first prayer at Baitul Mukarram.

"I prayed to almighty Allah so that we might never have to celebrate an Eid of this kind," he told FE.

Despite the government directive for children and senior citizens not to participate in Eid prayers, many children and people aged over 60 attended the Eid prayers.

Although social distancing rules were maintained to a large extent, people were seen wearing masks and gloves, carrying sanitisers, some people even were wearing personal protective equipment (PPEs).

Kudratullah Siam, who wore a PPE, said, "We have to protect ourselves and also celebrate Eid."

"We can't eat and live only, we are only animal without our spiritual and cultural lives, we need to attend prayers, celebrate festivals even during war or pandemic," Siam, an IT professional, told FE at Science Lab mosque.

However, many people celebrated this Eid without having a new dress. Instead affluent people spent their money on donations.

Saima Ruhani, a banker, said she spent a quarter of his Eid budget for the charity of the poor. "I sent the money to the poor of my country home in Manikganj so that they can celebrate Eid," she told FE.

People did not go outside in large numbers after Eid as all recreation spots, cinemas, theatres and clubs remained shut for the pandemic.

In an Eid message, President Abdul Hamid on Monday called on the affluent section of the society to stand beside the poor at the time of coronavirus crisis.

"Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated in a different context this year as a result of a pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. In this difficult time, I call on the affluent individuals of the society to stand beside the poor," he said while addressing the nation on Eid day from his official Bangabhaban residence.

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