by BERNAMA/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MUSLIMS could not travel back to their hometowns to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri last May because interstate travel was not allowed then, but they can now do so for Hari Raya Aidiladha which falls on this Friday as there are no longer any such prohibitions.
“There is no prohibition on interstate or inter-district travel. The public is free to travel back to their hometowns to celebrate Hari Raya Aidiladha,” said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob at the press conference on the Recovery Movement Control Order at the Parliament building here yesterday.
So expect the roads and highways to be more congested than in previous years as people will not want to miss the chance to travel back since they could not do so during the last festival.
Remember however, that although the government has given the green light to celebrate Aidiladha, it is not a licence to go overboard and forget the standard operating procedure (SOP) which is aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
As Ismail Sabri said, it is permitted to go back to the hometown, but take care of health and safety by abiding with the SOP for Hari Raya Aidiladha and the Qurban sacrificial ritual. This includes not gathering in groups of more than 20 people at any one time.
The government has also limited the number of cattle or other animals for the ritual to not more than 10 cows for mosques, surau and locations which have been permitted. However, this maximum number is subject to the size of the location.
The number of people present during the ritual has also been set at 20 people per cow while no feasts allowed at the korban sites, although packed food can be distributed there.
Also, people with pink wristbands who are still undergoing compulsory home quarantine are not allowed to travel to their hometowns, perform the AidilAdha congregational prayers or receive guests. Violate the quarantine order and be prepared to be arrested to be arrested.
The public is urged to report any of these individuals who are wearing these wristbands to the police.
Yesterday, the number of positive COVID-19 cases have gone back to single digit (seven). The last time it was single digit was on July 23. But do not heave a sigh a relief yet.
Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has warned of the third wave of COVID-19 which could hit Malaysia if the public continue to be complacent about the SOP which includes wearing masks and social distancing.
Surely we do not want COVID-19 to make a comeback in this country, with new clusters, and putting our loved ones in the hometowns at risk. So let us all take the necessary precautions for our health and safety.