ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Tuesday issued fresh guidelines in view of the upcoming Eidul Azha, urging people to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent Covid-19 infection. The forum has advised the people to stay indoors during the Eid holidays and observe precautionary measures in view of the rising trend of Covid cases. “It has been advised to undertake minimal necessary travel during Eid holidays as the risk of a new wave was imminent”. According to the NCOC, the Eid prayers should be offered in open spaces with Covid-19 protocols. In case prayers are offered indoors, windows and doors of mosques be kept open for adequate ventilation. The NCOC said that the Eid sermon should be kept brief and comprehensive with minors under 15 years of age, elderly citizens and those suffering from some illness discouraged from attending congregational prayers. It said that animal markets being set up must adhere to the guidelines for social distancing and other protective measures. The NCOC has directed local authorities to ensure every individual visiting the market wore a facemask properly (covering both the nose and mouth) at all times. Eid ul Adha will be observed on July 10 and on this festival, animals are sacrificed, which increases human contact, thereby increasing the chance of the event being a super spreader. In light of this, the NCOC has issued fresh guidelines for the public to follow. Eid prayers should be organized in open spaces with COVID protocols. Eid prayers should take place in 2-3 shifts at one venue with staggered timings to minimize attendance. Efforts should be made to keep the sermon (khutba) very brief in order to reduce exposure. Discourage sick, elderly, and children under 15-years of age from attending prayers. Mandatory wearing of face mask. Multiple entries and exit point at prayer venue to avoid rush of individuals. Availability and use of hand sanitizers at entrances and exits. Six-feet social distancing markings at the venue. Worshippers should bring their own prayer mats. Encourage people to perform wudhu/ablution at home Discourage socializing and handshakes at the venue after prayers. Avoid gatherings during the Eid holidays. Follow SOPs while distributing meat.