Lanao del Sur bans mass gatherings for Eid’l Fitr prayers
MARAWI CITY—Authorities in Lanao del Sur province have banned mass gatherings for Eid’l Fitr prayers marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
In a resolution passed on Tuesday (May 11), the provincial inter-agency task force (IATF) on COVID-19 said the ban is to protect the public from transmission of SARS Cov2, the highly contagious coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid’l Fitr on May 13 which marks the end of a 30-day fast when they abstain from food, water and other activities from sunrise to sunset.
Traditionally, Eid brings together families to share a feast, especially after congregational prayers.
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared May 13 as a national holiday.
The IATF resolution was firmed up after consultative meetings with the Provincial Ulama Council and the Ulama Council of Marawi City.
In the guidelines, the IATF directed all Muslims in the province to perform Eid prayers at home, with their immediate family members.
As of May 10, the province has 141 active COVID-19 cases. The main COVID-19 referral facility, the Amai Pakpak Medical Center, has reported reaching full capacity for COVID-19 cases.
To implement the IATF resolution, the provincial police office has directed local police commanders to coordinate with religious leaders to ensure that mosques are guarded and no mass gatherings occur there.
The local government of Cotabato City has also banned mass gatherings for Eid prayers.
On Monday, the Bangsamoro IATF allowed component local governments to adopt regulations, in consultation with religious leaders, based on what is apt for their situations.
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has also advised worshippers to strictly observe health protocols, especially wearing masks and face shields, during Eid celebrations.
For those who would pray in mosques, NCMF advised worshippers to perform ablution at home so they would not need to remove masks and shields inside the prayer house.
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