The IMM Scientific Advisory Board pointed out that the intensity that will occur during the Eid al-Adha may increase the risk of epidemics. In the statement, which stated that the mobility will exceed 1 million people due to the Eid al-Adha, the statement added, "Considering the sacrifice ceremonies, which are inevitable with the contact of these people with their family members, the number and risks are multiplied." As a precaution, the Board recommended that the victims should be slaughtered where they were raised.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) Advisory Board, which has given important warnings about the measures to be taken against the pandemic since the day Covid-19 entered our lives, came together before the Eid al-Adha. Emphasizing that the preparations for Eid al-Adha should be handled within the scope of pandemic measures, the Board made important recommendations.
VICTIMS ARE COMING FROM ANATOLIA
Underlining that the preparations for Eid-al-Adha should be evaluated much more seriously due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the statement said, “During the Eid-al-Adha, the animals slaughtered are displaced by traveling long distances from a large Anatolia. In these trips, which are generally made with unsuitable vehicles, at least 3 people travel per vehicle. Animals can be taken to the qurban sales areas at the earliest 15 days before the Eid al-Adha. However, this rule is mostly not followed; When we include before, during and after the sacrifice, animals are kept in the sales areas for at least three weeks.
INCREASED HUMAN TRAFFIC IS RISK
Stating that 5 percent of the animal population in the country is slaughtered during the Eid al-Adha, although it varies according to the years, the Board said, “Approximately 8-10 percent of the slaughter is done in Istanbul, either registered or unregistered. For this reason, it has become more important than ever that the measures to be taken in Istanbul are more stringent and inspected. Due to their traditional sacrificial habits, our citizens will often be together while purchasing the victim, slaughtering it, and distributing it to those in need. This will increase human traffic and pose a significant risk in terms of the transmission of Covid-19.
HUMAN TRAFFIC WILL EXCEED 1 MILLION PEOPLE
Drawing attention to the difficult-to-control human traffic in the sacrificial areas due to traditional sacrificial rituals, the Board listed possible events during the feast:
“As it is known, the figure given above will increase even more in bovine qurbans, since more than one family generally makes a joint purchase and family members go to choose qurban together. The same problems will be experienced in the cutting areas. Slaughter performed in as little as three days and usually on the first day will also increase the density of people. It is estimated that the human traffic due to the victim will exceed 1 million people when we include the unofficial areas and completely uncontrolled slaughtering areas. Considering the sacrifice ceremonies, which are inevitable when these people return home and contact their family members, the number and risks are multiplied. The return of many producers from other cities after the feast will increase the risk of transmission. This year, the date of entry of sacrificial animals to Istanbul has been determined as 5 July. The construction works of the sacrificial areas begin long before that. It is of great importance that the upcoming organization is evaluated in terms of Covid-19 measures, measures are taken to minimize the risks and that the public is informed about the issue.”
VICTIMS SHALL BE SLAUGHT IN THE REGION WHERE IT WAS BROUGHT
After listing the possible activities and risks due to the Eid al-Adha, the IMM Scientific Advisory Board recorded the measures to be taken as follows:
“The main objective of the measures to be taken should be to minimize human traffic. For this purpose, citizens should be encouraged to send the sacrificial animals to slaughter in the regions where they were raised, instead of in different cities.”
“Manufacturers who will bring the victims to big cities for sale must have their vaccinations completed. All sacrificial sales places should be limited, and areas with one entrance and one exit should be created. Masks, HES control and fire control of citizens should be done at the entrances, and social distance should be observed.
“When purchasing a victim, the veterinary health report of the victim must be seen. If necessary, help should be sought from veterinarians in the field in order to understand whether the victim is healthy or not.
“Our compatriots from Istanbul, who came from various cities of Anatolia and settled in Istanbul, should perform the sacrifice worship in their hometown by giving power of attorney to a relative or a trustworthy charity. Transport traffic to Istanbul can be reduced, especially by donating it to orphanages, immigrant camps, and needy people living in poor neighborhoods in provinces where slaughter animals are found.
Feast of Sacrifice with 2020 Numbers
Sharing data on the past Eid-al-Adha, the Board shared the information that local governments can make sacrifices by proxy and that the slaughtered victims can be distributed to the needy through the same channel:
“2020 cattle were brought to the slaughtering places of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality during the Eid al-Adha period of 10, 242 thousand 8 of them were sold and 94 thousand 4 of them were slaughtered in slaughterhouses belonging to our municipality. The number of animals brought in sheep and goats was 430 thousand 2, 524 thousand 1 sold and the number slaughtered in our slaughterhouses was 793 thousand 1.”