COTABATO CITY – The city government has discouraged the conduct of this year’s Eid al-Fitr congregational prayer assemblies in public venues here due to the resurgence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi said Wednesday the city government would also forego the holding of Eid al-Fitr prayers at the City Hall grounds this year.
“After a series of discussions with the members of the City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF) on Covid-19, it is with regret that the CIATF has discouraged Cotabateños from conducting congregational prayers on the celebration of the (Eid al-Fitr),” Sayadi said.
She added that despite the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status in this city, “we cannot guarantee that the allowed 30 percent capacity of every venue, and physical distancing, will be followed, thereby increasing the risk of spreading the virus.”
Currently, the city has 90 active cases, twice the number of infected patients in the past few days.
“As you can see in our daily Covid tracker, our cases increase by the day and we record Covid-related deaths every week here in our city,” Sayadi said.
She said the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center, a Covid-19 referral hospital, is overwhelming with patients, with some of its regular wards already converted into Covid-19 wards.
“Adding to this concern is the recent news that the heavily contagious Covid-19 variant that has originated in India has already entered our country,” she said.
Through the recommendation of the CIATF, Sayadi urged the Islam faithful to perform Eid al-Fitr prayers in their respective homes.
“We ask for your utmost understanding and we hope that we will continue to follow all our minimum health protocols,” she said.
Eid al-Fitr is the Muslim celebration marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan that is set to culminate on Thursday. (PNA)