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Govt bans Idul Adha festivities in PPKM Darurat areas

Jakarta Post - July 16, 2021

A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – The government has banned public celebrations of Idul Adha (Day of Sacrifice), which is set to fall on Tuesday, in areas where the emergency public activity restrictions (PPKM Darurat) are in effect, to avoid further transmission of the COVID-19.

Such a move means that Muslims residing in PPKM Darurat areas are expect to refrain from holding the crowd-pulling activities that are usually part and parcel of Idul Adha festivities, such as mass prayers and takbiran (recitation of God is great).

The qurban (animal sacrifice) ritual during Idul Adha, meanwhile, will be conducted in slaughterhouses and, in situations where slaughterhouses are at full capacity, can be done outdoors but attendance will be strictly limited by the committee in charge of managing the livestock and their donors.

The meat from the slaughtered animals is also expected to be directly delivered to its intended recipients so as not cause any crowds, Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said in Jakarta on Friday.

Yaqut, however, emphasized that the bans were in effect for public activities and added that people could still conduct takbiran and Idul Adha morning prayers in their own homes.

The PPKM Darurat were initially implemented across Java and Bali starting from July 3. The government later expanded the curb to include 15 regencies and cities outside the two islands that recorded sharp increases in COVID-19 cases.

The policy, including in the extended areas, is set to end on Tuesday, in conjunction with Idul Adha.

Indonesia recorded the highest daily fatality rate at 1,205 deaths on Friday, surpassing the previous record of 1,040 fatalities on July 7, with 54,000 new cases recorded in the same period, according to the government's COVID-19 task force data.

Aside from the aforementioned restrictions, Yaqut also urged the public not to participate in mudik (homeward exodus) during Idul Adha in a bid to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

"We urge people not to do mudik this Idul Adha as it will further [increase] the COVID-19 transmission. We hope that people can understand this," Yaqut said in a live-streamed press conference on Friday.

He went on to add that the ministry would coordinate with Islamic organizations such as Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Muhammadiyah and the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), among others, to inform the public about the Idul Adha restrictions in PPKM Darurat areas.

He urged Muslims, especially in PPKM Darurat areas, to follow the government's directions to prevent further fatalities caused by the coronavirus.

"I think Muslims understand that what the government is currently doing right now is mainly to protect the lives of its citizens," Yaqut said.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2021/07/16/govt-bans-idul-adha-festivities-in-ppkm-darurat-areas.htm