Subdued Eid celebrations in Delhi as Covid-19 threat looms large
Eid celebrations were quiet this year in the national capital as people offered namaz at home with mosques and idgahs shut and greeted close ones online, amid the lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The festive buzz was missing as there were no congregational prayers or community feasts.
The vast premises of the historical Jama Masjid and Fatehpuri Masjid, where thousands offer the Eid Namaz normally, wore a deserted look with only the Shahi Imams and mosque staff attending traditional prayers.
The Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, said the Eid Namaz was offered at the mosque by him and around 15 to 16 members of the mosque's staff.
People stayed at home and offered namaz as they did during Ramzan, he said.
People should serve those in need, including the ones affected by the disease. The virus can be defeated by people through precautions like social distancing, he said in his message on Eid.
Forced to stay indoors due to the coronavirus threat, Shafique Alam, a school teacher and resident of Jamia Nagar, said, 'I offered namaz at home along with my two brothers and our children.'
'But the Eid Namaz at a local mosque was immensely missed as it used to be an occasion to meet friends and neighbours, hug them and revive the bonds of togetherness,' he said.
The Shahi Imam of the Fatehpuri mosque, Mufti Mukarram Ahmed, said people were urged to maintain social distancing while celebrating Eid and avoid embracing others and shaking hands.
With the threat of the coronavirus infection looming large, people avoided customary visits to meet and greet friends and relatives on the occasion.
'I am sending messages greeting friends and relatives whom I used to visit on the occasion of Eid and enjoy the festival. Social media has become a bridge to connect people as we cannot move freely and mingle due to Covid-19,' said Laxmi Nagar- based businessman Mohammad Asif.
The Old Delhi areas of Chandni Chowk, Matia Mahal and Ballimaran, which are centres of Eid festivities in the city, were also largely quiet with majority of shops shut and people staying home and celebrating the festival with their families.