COVID-19 dampens Eid festivities in Old Delhi, restricted entry and social distancing followed at Jama Masjid

23 May, 2020 | Priyanka Sharma

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This Eid is unlike any other Eid in the previous year due to coronavirus outbreak. Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid has advised people to offer prayers from their homes.

On the occasion of Jumat-ul-Vida, the last Friday of the ongoing holy month of Ramzan, a select group of people offered namaz at Delhi’s Jama Masjid ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, while adhering to social distancing following relaxations in the fourth phase of the COVID-19 lockdown. 

A large number of people wanted to offer prayers today but we told them they should do so from their homes. Only the staff of the mosque and a few members of the family offered prayers here,” Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid said. The coronavirus pandemic has also marred the excitement of Eid for the vegetable and fruit vendors in neighbouring Daryaganj.

The fourth phase of nation-wide lockdown extended till May 31, began from Monday in which markets and shops were allowed to open. However, due to persisting fear of COVID-19, the sale of products is yet to pick pace. Unlike each year, the market lacks the sheen this Eid with no bustle and people cautious about venturing out. 

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Salim, who has been selling cheese and curd in the market for the last 35 years, told ANI, “I have never seen such an Eid. There is an atmosphere of fear in the minds of people.”

Another fruit seller Haseen Malik said that “During the month of Ramadan, most people relish fruits such as musk melon, sweet lemon and watermelon so there is some demand for it. But there is no excitement for Eid this year. The sale has been at an all-time low because of the lockdown.” In the wake of the festival and to ensure social distancing, Delhi Police has made elaborate security arrangements.

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