It will be an Eid-ul-Fitr unlike any other as Muslims in Bangladesh will celebrate their biggest religious festival on Monday without any outdoor activities to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
The government urged devotees to avoid Eidgah or other open places for congregations and instead offer prayers at mosques following recommended health advice.
In an emergency notification on May 14, the Ministry of Religious Affairs said the decision was taken due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Devotees have been urged to bring prayer mats and scalp caps from home and wear masks. Besides, arrangements should be made at the entrances of the mosques for washing hands.
Children, elderly people, people with physical ailment, and those who are involved in taking care of the sick will not be allowed to attend the Eid prayer.
Devotees have been requested to shun handshaking and hugging after the prayer, a common practice throughout the Muslim world.
Thousands of people have already left the capital to celebrate Eid with their families at their village homes ignoring the risk of coronavirus infection.
In an address to the nation on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged all to celebrate the occasion staying home and enjoying time with their families.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Hasina greeted the countrymen as well as the Muslim devotees on the occasion. They also issued separate messages praying for peace, progress and prosperity of the country and the Muslim Ummah.
President Hamid said Eid creates a bond of harmony, amity and unity among all. “Let the teaching of Eid-ul-fitr spread among all and build a prosperous Bangladesh,” he said urging the solvent people to stand beside the poor.
In a separate message, Prime Minister Hasina said this time we are celebrating Eid in an unusual way as coronavirus has paralysed the whole world.
“Don't get infected. We sincerely thank all the health workers, doctors, nurses, policemen, law enforcers, armed forces and others who are risking their lives to save the lives of the people during this time,” she said.
The Prime Minister requested everyone to avoid public gatherings as much as possible “so that we can enjoy Eid at home and pray to God that we all get rid of this infection quickly”.
Television channels and radio stations will air special programmes on the occasion and the national flag will be hoisted atop government and non-government office buildings.
Special diet will be served at hospitals, jails, government children’s homes – Chotomoni Nibash – centres for persons with disabilities, shelter homes, orphanages, Vagrant Welfare and Destitute Welfare centres.