ISLAMABAD AFP July17, 2020- Pakistanis should celebrate the upcoming Eid festival with “simplicity” to prevent a spike in new coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday.
Many people ignored social distancing guidelines and flocked to mosques and markets during the last religious holiday marking the end of Ramadan in May -- helping fuel a subsequent surge in COVID-19 cases across Pakistan.
The increase prompted the World Health Organisation to call for new lockdowns across Pakistan. “Eid ul Azha must be celebrated with simplicity so as not to repeat what happened last Eid when SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) were ignored & our hospitals were choked”, Khan tweeted, adding that he was ordering the “strict implementation” of government guidelines.
Many in Pakistan return to their family homes from cities to observe the festival.
According to official tallies, around 260,000 people in Pakistan have tested positive for coronavirus, including more than 5,470 deaths.