Eid During Covid
“In a swift and controversial move in late July, the Bangladeshi government paused its tight lockdown for just over a week to open space for Bangladeshis to prepare for and celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Tens of millions stepped out for eight days, shopping at local markets and rushing back to home villages in packed ferries — in doing so, they were defying a fierce covid surge.
Bangladesh has a lot to lose. Before the week-long restriction recess, the nation had been almost entirely shut since July 1, with enforcing soldiers patrolling. The dense nation was already hitting a record death toll. New cases had been stretching beyond 10,000 per day. But the economy was crippled and straining under pressure, officials said, and the annual festival could be an economic buoy.
A record number of cows, goats, buffaloes and lambs were readied for ritual slaughter in Bangladesh during Eid, and a record number were sold online. App-facilitated animal sales spiked in a bid to beat pandemic crowds, Iftekhar Hossain, a livestock ministry spokesman, told AFP.
After the celebrations ended, Farhad Hossain, state minister for public administration, told the media, “We are going to enforce a very tough lockdown this time.” The damage may already been done: Cases are climbing, and exactly two weeks after the lockdown temporarily lifted, new daily cases surpassed 15,900 — figures already considered to be underreported.”
written by Sammy Westfall.
For the Washington Post.