‘Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha to determine whether COVID-19 cases will surge in Turkey’

‘Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha to determine whether COVID-19 cases will surge in Turkey’
Date: 24.7.2020 12:00

A Turkish Coronavirus Science Committee member said that the muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha would determine whether schools could reopen at the end of August. The professor noted that social traffic during celebrations could make infections spike.

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Turkey’s Science Committee member Prof. Hazan Tezer said that the social traffic that will occur during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha at the end of July will be the determining factor in whether schools can open on August 31 as planned.
“We will do whatever it takes to open schools if schools should open. We aim to open schools. We are ready to open schools on August 31,” Education Minister Ziya Selçuk said on July 22.
However, Prof. Tezer said that the number of active COVID-19 cases in Turkey could surge during Eid al-Adha if celebrators don’t adhere to precautions, as it’s tradition to gather with extended family during the holiday.
Noting that that the number of active cases in Turkey were around 900 as of July 22, the science committee member discouraged large celebrations and gatherings during the holiday.
“We celebrated the previous Eid via video calls from home. We need to do the same this time around,” Tezer said.
The professor also discouraged the tradition of kissing elders’ hands and putting it on one’s forehead, a respectful greeting in Turkey reserved to those older than oneself.
“We need to not visit elders during Eid al-Adha. We need to stop kissing hands.”
The number of active COVID-19 cases after Eid al-Adha will be key in whether the science committee will recommend re-opening schools, Tezer added.
“If we don’t adhere to safe distancing, mask mandates and hygiene rules, if we make home visits, and a spike follows unregulated sacrifice killings, we’ll have to seriously re-evaluate the sata,” Tezer said.


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