Muslims advised to strictly observe health protocols during Eid al-Fitr

MUSLIMS are encouraged to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The festival marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.

This year, it will begin in the evening of Wednesday, May 12, and end in the evening of Thursday, May 13.

Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr by gathering in mosques and feasting with families.

The Department of Health (DOH) issued an advisory emphasizing the adherence to minimum public health protocols at all times.

The DOH advised Muslims to observe physical distancing of at least one meter and to wear their masks and face shields properly when going to places of worship or in public places.

The agency asked the community to ensure that there is proper ventilation in the place of gathering and to limit interaction to 15 minutes.

Health authorities said those who have coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) symptoms should refrain from going to mosques. Those who do go should immediately isolate themselves for a minimum of two weeks and to stay away from family members who do not attend any gathering.

They should monitor themselves for symptoms of Covid-19 like fever, colds, sore throat, headache, diarrhea and loss of smell and taste, among others.

Sought for comment, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Visayas Director Onasis Balt said they will ensure that social distancing will be observed when they celebrate and hold Eid prayers in mosques.

“By tomorrow (Monday) or by Tuesday morning, I will make an announcement regarding this, including some reminders to still maintain social distancing while doing Eid prayers,” he said in Tagalog.

“Our mosques here in Cebu are just small. The Cebu City LGU (local government unit) told us that we can accommodate a maximum of 200 persons per mosque,” he said.

According to the NCMF Visayas, there are more than 28,000 Muslims in Cebu and more 360,000 Muslims in the entire Visayas. (WBS)