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A man herding sacrificial animals
Image: picture-alliance/Zumapress/PPI

Pakistan traders switch to sell sacrificial animals online

July 28, 2020

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced animal traders to try something new in order to have a successful festival. Some even parade animals on YouTube to music in order to make ends meet.


Pakistan has begun encouraging people to buy sacrificial animals for an upcoming festival through online outlets, to reduce the number of new coronavirus cases in the country. 

Muslims are preparing for Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), one of the most important holidays on the Muslim calendar.

The Muslim majority country has imposed several social distancing restrictions and ordered visitors to wear masks while walking around markets. 

Dozens of apps and websites have popped up to have animals delivered to doorsteps, slaughtered or donated to charity. Shakil Dehelvi, joint secretary-general of the Alamgir Welfare Trust, told Reuters that the charity received its target number twice as fast as compared to last year.

Read more: How the COVID-19 crisis is affecting Pakistan's economy

Qurbani App chief executive Muhammad Ali Chaudhry told AFP "orders have gone through the roof."

Last holiday meant virus spikes

During the last major Muslim festival in Pakistan, Eid al-Fitr (the holiday that commemorates the end of fasting during Ramadan), there was a massive jump in new cases. Pakistani authorities are hoping that does not happen during Eid al-Adha.

Traders at the traditional markets said s that they have lost many customers this year for Eid al-Adha, and some customers were not following pandemic protocol. 

"I don't understand this coronavirus. I have not seen anyone dying of it," trader Muhammad Akram told Reuters. "Look around you: no one is wearing a mask."

Read more: Coronavirus in Pakistan: Blood plasma in high demand to cure COVID-19 patients

Pakistan has reported more than 270,000 coronavirus cases along with nearly 6,000 deaths. But there have been fewer new infections in recent weeks.

Pakistan Eid-ul-Azha in Karatschi
Coronavirus has driven the market for sacrificial animals onlineImage: picture-alliance/Zumapress/PPI

"In the last four weeks there has been a significant slowdown in the pandemic's spread, with an 80% decline in deaths," said State Minister of Health Zafar Mirza on Sunday, just three weeks after he tested positive for the illness.

kbd/rc (AFP, Reuters) 

Read more: Coronavirus trend: The pandemic is far from over

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