Oman is celebrating Eid al Adha on Tuesday in the midst of a four-day total lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
All commercial establishments, offices and other workplaces which are not mentioned in the 'list of exempted activities' will remain closed and no commercial activity shall be carried out during this period.
No mass Eid prayers at mosques or places where people gather is not allowed and will attract punitive actions, according to the Royal Oman Police (ROP).
The four-day lockdown, which ends on Saturday morning, is intended to put a complete halt to movement of people and gatherings which are found to be a major reason behind community spread.
However, the Supreme Committee has exempted certain sectors, jobs and services from the total lockdown.
All hospitals and clinics that provide emergency services and treatment, pharmacies and staff, emergency services vehicles (electricity, water, communications), Sewage, gas cylinders, water tankers, employees at gas stations, employees of the press, media, workers in the relief and shelter sector, banks, shift workers in specialised insurance, freight and customs clearance offices, shipping, postal, and logistics sectors, buses which transport workers of the factories that are allowed to operate as per regulations, tyre and vehicle repair shops at fuel stations, pumps’ sale and repair shops, electrical materials and dress (only online, without opening the shop), vehicles to transport bakery products and food delivery and laundry services.
A limited number of fuel stations in each governorate were allowed to operate from July 15 to 31. This includes 26 stations in Muscat, 4 in Musandam, 19 in Al Dakhiliyah, 7 in Al Wusta, 28 in Dhofar, 3 in Al Buraimi, 23 in North Al Batinah, 12 in South Al Sharqiyah, 13 in South Al Batinah, and 9 in Al Dhahirah.
"The list of petrol stations allowed to open is decided by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, and no other fuel station is allowed to operate based on the instructions of the Supreme Committee," a source at the ministry said.
TEST OF FAITH
Eid al Adha denotes the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) who expressed his willingness to sacrifice his only son Ismail as an act of obedience to Allah's command. But in the end, it was just a test of faith and he was provided with a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Traditionally, Eid al Adha involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat in three equal parts among family, relatives and friends, and poor people to celebrate equality, kindness and devotion.
In the modern context, the sacrifice indicates that one should endure the loss of something that we love the most in order to feel the love and affection that we have for the thing or individual. The sacrifice can also be our savings in money or our time in service of others.
As is said in the Holy Quran, 'The meat will not reach Allah, nor will the blood, but what reaches him is the devotion of devotees."
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