Feature: Syrians avoid gatherings in celebration of Eid al-Adha amid COVID-19 concerns

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-31 22:44:01|Editor: huaxia

DAMASCUS, July 31 (Xinhua) -- With the concerns of the COVID-19, many Syrians choose no gathering in celebration of this year's Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice, over visiting friends and relatives or going out for meals.

"It's not a joke. We cannot just ignore the facts and act as if nothing matters," Roushdy Nader, a 30-year-old accountant, told Xinhua, saying he remains indoors during the Islamic festival amid the news of daily new COVID-19 cases in Syria.

Maher Hanan, a 32-year-old teacher in the capital Damascus, has cancelled his trip to the beach.

"Unlike many people who are heading to the beach during Eid al-Adha, I just couldn't take that decision," he said. "I'm afraid that I could catch an infection here and there."

Amal Makdessi, another Syrian resident, turned to a safe option to rent a villa in the suburbs of Damascus.

Makdessi said she enjoys her time with her family without mixing with people in places such as crowded hotels and beaches.

Munhed Zaroura, a 46-year-old man, said he is enjoying solitude in his house in a village in central Syria.

"I used to go to the beach during Eid al-Adha and I used to enjoy the crowded areas, but going there is no longer an option for me with the COVID-19 spread," he explained.

Since March, the Syrian Health Ministry has reported a total of 738 COVID-19 cases in the country.

This year, people are advised against visiting each other over the pandemic while the soaring prices and tough economic situation discourage them from big meals.

The Syrian televisions also broadcast programs about raising awareness of COVID-19 instead of interesting plays during this Eid al-Adha holiday.

"Personal responsibility and awareness is the essence of the protection against COVID-19," reads one of the slogans repeatedly aired by the Syrian national TV.

The Syrian government also banned the early-morning Eid al-Adha prayers in mosques in Damascus and its countryside to prevent congregation.

In addition, the Syrian Interior Ministry designated a hotline for reporting illegal entry into the country over the COVID-19 fears, while the health ministry set up another for reporting suspected coronavirus cases. Enditem