Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza has warned people of a possible rise in COVID-19 infections in the country on Eidul Azha.

During a press conference on Sunday, he said the country has two major challenges coming up–Eidul Azha and Muharram.

Mirza said that there’s a danger of the virus spreading across the country again during the Eid celebrations, adding that the government has learned from last Eid’s experience.

“During the last few weeks, we discussed standard operating procedures (SOPs) with provinces and adopted a strategy at the national level,” he said.

The special assistant has, therefore, urged people to religiously follow SOPs while visiting cattle markets. “Wear masks, wash your hands frequently and maintain social distancing,” he advised.

The elderly, children and sick people should not be visiting the markets. “Previously, small cattle markets started popping up in cities around Eid. That is not allowed this time but cattle markets are allowed to be set up as far outside cities as possible,” he said.

Mirza urged people to try and buy their sacrificial animals online instead of visiting the markets and opt for ijtimai qurbani (collective sacrifice).

“Please follow all SOPs. If we follow SOPs, not only will we be able to maintain the trend of fewer infections but will also be able to get rid of this pandemic,” he said.

Sale of sacrificial animals, establishment of cattle markets within cities strictly banned: Dr. Zafar Mirza

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza has said that the sale of sacrificial animals and establishment of cattle markets within cities are strictly banned across the country.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Sunday, he said that special preparations have been made in consultations with all stakeholders to implement Standard Operating Procedure during Eid Days.

He said that the pandemic will further spread if SOPs not followed by the citizens. He said SOPs should also be followed during offering of Eid Prayers.

He advised citizens to prefer purchasing of Sacrificing animal through online instead of going to cattle markets.

He also urged the people to prefer collective sacrifice arranged instead of individual fulfilment of the ritual to maintain social distancing and contain the spread of coronavirus.