The Eid-ul Azha sacrifice has a multi-billion economy of its own as along with being the instrumental religious and cultural event in Pakistan. It is a source of livelihood for the major stakeholders including butchers, livestock traders and the tanning industry. However, in these testing times, it is necessary to look at real facts on ground and mold our old economic and religious practices in accordance with the novel coronavirus.
Primarily, it is important that the authorities curtail the gatherings in livestock markets where people and the animals converge every year. It is because medical health care workers and doctors have seriously warned us of the gravity of the aftermath if the situation goes out of hand. The cases might spike and on the top of that the second wave would create mass havoc and irrevocable damage with repercussions beyond comprehension.
Although the National Command and Operation Center has allowed the presence of small livestock markets on the outskirts of the cities with strict SOPs in practice, such a balance between economic and religious priorities with precautions to fight the virus remain a workable solution on paper only. It is undeniable that SOPs are widely flouted in the livestock markets. Nonetheless, as people have great cultural and religious affiliations with this occasion, it is imperative that authorities should enforce strict SOPs so that those rushing to the livestock markets do bot end up being the spreaders of the virus as they return to their neighborhoods. Moreover, children should be kept away from these mandis and instead of whole brigades going to select an animal, one person is enough.
While there is much prudence and wisdom in collective sacrifice to minimize the hovering threat of the second, blood spilling and qurbani in neighborhoods should be curtailed to prevent situation going out of hand and ensure hygiene. After all, we all expect a sooner return to our halted activities and life to resume in its normal course.