Islamabad, May 24 (IANS) Eid-ul-Fitr is being observed across Pakistan on Sunday without traditional festivity as the nation struggles to come to terms with a deadly plane crash that killed 97 people and to curb the spread COVID-19 pandemic.
President Arif Alvi, in his message, said that he was dedicating this Eid to “martyrs of PIA (crash), labourers who have been trying to earn amid the coronavirus situation, doctors, nurses, corona patients…”, reports Dawn news.
In a bid to encourage people to stay indoors, the President said that he will offer Eid prayers at home.
He urged people to “observe social distancing, wear masks and wash their hands so that they can keep themselves, their families and friends safe” from COVID-19.
In order to “facilitate Eid prayers at home”, Pakistan Television will telecast prayers held in Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said.
On Saturday night, Prime Minister Imran had urged the nation to forgo traditional festivity in view of the lives lost in Friday’s plane crash in Karachi and the hundreds of fatalities caused by the coronavirus, Dawn news reported.
Taking to Twitter, the premier said he wants the citizens to “observe this Eid in a different manner from the usual celebratory style”.
“First, let us think of and pray for all those families who have been deprived of their loved ones by the plane crash tragedy and all those who have lost their lives to COVID-19,” he wrote.
In another tweet, he emphasised that people must remember to observe the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to prevent further spread of the virus.
On Friday, a Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane crashed in Karachi’s Model Colony near Jinnah International Airport. Ninety-seven people died while two survived.
The Muslim festival of Eid comes as Pakistan has so far recorded 53,601 COVID-19 cases, with 1,123 deaths since the pandemic hit the nation on February 26.