Sulu Task Force Covid-19 bans Eid’l Fitri gatherings

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ZAMBOANGA CITY – Congregational, group prayer, and other public and private social gatherings related to the celebration next week of Eid’l Fitri 2021 have been temporarily suspended in Sulu province.

In an executive order on Friday, Gov. Abdusakur Tan, chairperson of the Sulu Task Force coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), imposed a temporary ban on all types of gatherings due to the rising Covid-19 cases in the province.

Tan issued the directive following a consultative meeting Friday with Islamic Religious Groups, Jammah Tabligh, Sulu Ulama Council for Peace and Development, and other local sectors.

Also present during the meeting, which was held at the provincial Capitol, were police and military officials and other members of the task force.

“For the good and health protection of the populace against Covid-19 virus, Eid-al-Fitri Prayer in all mosques including outdoor congregation is hereby temporarily suspended without sacrificing the reverential solemnity of the occasion,” part of the governor’s order read.

Tan said Saturday said he was compelled to issue the order after anticipating the huge number of Muslims joining the Eid Prayer.

“The presence of vulnerable members of society like the elderly and children are also of high certainty,” he said.

The task force said the Eid’l Fitri will fall on May 11 or 12 depending on the sighting of the moon, scheduled this coming Monday, May 10.

Dr. Fahra Omar, Integrated Provincial Health Office chief, reported that 21 confirmed Covid-19 cases with two deaths have been recorded in Sulu from the period May 1 to 7.

Meanwhile, Tan said Taraweeh Prayers shall be allowed to continue as long as they maintain the required minimum health protocols.

Taraweeh is Arabic that means “to rest and relax”, as it is seen as a special form of Islamic meditation. The special prayers involve reading long portions of the Qur’an, as well as performing many rakahs (cycles of movement involved in Islamic prayer).-PNA

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