Coronavirus: Eid celebrations toned down in Oldham as COVID spike brings a tighter lockdown

Derrick Santistevan

The yearly celebration of Eid al-Adha – the Celebration of Sacrifice – is a time for event and family.

However in Oldham those celebrations will be rather silenced this year.

Mosques in the town have actually been getting ready for the four-day spiritual vacation, which started on Thursday, by guaranteeing rigorous health procedures and limiting the variety of people enabled in at common prayer time.

“If people saw what we do,” Abdul Karim, from Oldham Main mosque informed Sky News, “they would actually appreciate the fact that these places aren’t actually producing the spread, if anything we’re actually reducing it.”

Abdul Karim states the mosque has actually acted as a coronavirus details circulation centre

The Main mosque would usually anticipate around 2500 people for Eid prayers.

However this year they are restricting numbers to simply a couple of hundred.

“We’re also acting as a sort of information distribution point,” Mr Karim stated, “by raising awareness about the pandemic and about safety issues in the community.”

Brand-new markers show people where to put their prayer mats at the mosque

Today Oldham taped the UK’s second highest variety of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of the population – just Blackburn with Darwen taped a greater rate.

The town’s council reestablished some social distancing procedures to attempt a prevent a full regional lockdown, consisting of prohibiting all social sees to gardens and houses.

As part of Greater Manchester, Oldham is now based on the more stringent regional lockdown procedures that have actually entered force in the location from today after a spike in cases.

That suggests households have actually needed to cancel strategies to have their common Eid celebrations.

“Normally we’d be putting up decorations and getting lots of food ready,” stated Hafizan Zaman. “On a normal day we’d expect 40 to 50 guests, family and friends, to visit us.”

Rather Mrs Zaman, who is wed with 3 children, will commemorate at home.

“It’s disappointing,” her other half, Nasim Ashraf stated, “but I think we were half expecting it.”

” I believe it’s simply the timing actually, it’s a pity the limitation didn’t come in next week, that would have been perfect for us. We have actually been doing [social distancing] for months now and will simply bring on.”

The Ashraf family have actually cancelled their Eid celebrations for this year

Oldham Council states it has no issues about Eid celebrations, and the events around them, increasing the rate of COVID-19 infections.

However we consulted with a group of teens in the town centre who stated they were “100% planning” on heading out in groups to commemorate Eid, in spite of social distancing constraints.

“Young people are careless,” one young guy informed us, “but others are as well.”

“I’ve seen people just doing whatever they want, they aren’t taking care of themselves or of others, they are out in the street, basically everywhere.”

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