July 26, 2020

There is a growing concern that a repeat of events following Eid ul Fitr does not take place at Eid ul Azha

With the country gearing up for Eid ul Azha, there is much talk about safety measures and protocols that will need to be followed in the days leading up to and during Eid itself. Having suffered a massive spike in the number of new Covid cases following Eid ul Fitr – with people openly flouting established SOPs as markets and shopping centres opened for public ahead of Eid – there is a growing concern that a repeat of similar events does not take place.

Governments and local authorities have formulated SOPs for public safety ahead of Eid ul Azha. From public movement and Eid congregations to business at cattle market, sacrifice of animals and even distribution of meat. But formulating SOPs is just one step. The larger issue is ensuring their implementation. And while there is much left to be desired on part of the government in terms of implementation, the public’s [lack of] response to these calls for safety and vigilance paints a sorry picture in these dire times.

In the past few weeks there has been encouraging data reflecting a drop in the number of new Covid cases, particularly in the country’s largest province. There may soon be something to celebrate. But as we continue to understand the phenomenon, it is essential to keep in mind that the virus continues to remain a threat. And before we establish a better understanding of how it operates and why certain people show better immunity and resistance levels than others based on concrete scientific evidence, we need to remain vigilant and cautious.

This week our Special Report explores not just the arrangements made for safety ahead of Eid but also the dynamics of cattle markets in the backdrop of Covid-19, its impact on businesses, large and small, and what sort of innovation have been forced upon animal breeders and vendors in these challenging circumstances.