The Department of Health in Garissa County has issued guidelines and protocols to be observed in mosques and prayer grounds across the County during the Idd-ul-fitr celebrations.
Addressing the press, Health Chief Executive (CEC), Roble Nunow, said the procedures were arrived at in consultation with the officials of inter-faith protocols governing places of worship.
“The guidelines were discussed and agreed following a meeting chaired by the County Secretary, Abdi Sheikh and attended by officials of Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF), the Council of Imams and the Management Committee of Gen. Mohamud Idd Grounds,” Roble said.
“I want to implore upon our people to continue adhering to the strict guidelines that have been put in place by the Ministry of Health, not only during the Idd celebrations but at all times,” he added.
There have been fears that the residents are dying in numbers but the same go unreported, a situation that has caused panic among the public.
The CEC said that the Health Department together with partners are prepared to identify, manage and provide critical care for any Covid-19 cases that may arise during and after the celebrations.
Roble said that social distance of 1.5 to 2 meters must be clearly marked at all places of congregation, adding that all ablution blocks will be closed.
“Congregants should come with their own mushraf and or download Quran apps on their mobile devices. There will be no use of the normal Kitabs,” he said.
“Children below 13 years and the elderly above 58 years, individuals with underlying health conditions, should not be allowed into the prayer grounds and mosques,” the CEC noted.
Other guidelines include individuals carrying their own prayer mats to the mosques or prayer grounds and congregants must wear face masks at all times.
Hand sanitizers should be used before and after prayers and the celebrations should be held preferably in open grounds rather than in an enclosed setting. The entire process of prayer should not take more than two hours.
Roble urged members of the public to use the following hotlines number 0111207207, 011004836 and 0110040708 to report any alerts.
By Jacob Songok