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The first day of Eidul Azha will be celebrated across Pakistan on August 22, Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman announced on Sunday following the sighting of the Zilhaj moon.

The announcement was preceded by meetings of the moon-sighting committee and other zonal committees in all provincial capitals of the country.

The Islamic month of Zilhaj will commence on August 13. Meanwhile, Haj will be observed in Saudi Arabia on August 20.

Muslims across the country celebrate the annual festival of Eidul Azha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Haj pilgrimage to Makkah, and in commemoration of Prophet Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son to show obedience to God.

The tradition of Eidul Azha enjoins all Muslims who can afford a sacrifice to do so. To this end, Muslims across the nation purchase livestock such as cows, goats, sheep and camels to sacrifice to commemorate Abraham's sacrifice.

Visits to cattle markets for this purpose, pose health dangers to the visitors. In this regard advisories are issued to the general public to take certain precautions.

Advisory on Congo virus

In Karachi this year, the Metropolitan Commissioner of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman directed the veterinary and the health and medical services department of KMC to ensure awareness among citizens on the prevention of Congo virus before and during Eidul Azha. He asked the KMC officials to carry out proper fumigation in cattle markets to save people from germs.

Dr Rehman said that citizens should cover their face and hands during their visit to cattle markets and wear light-coloured clothes with full sleeves, so that any tick could be noticed.

He said gloves should also be worn while inspecting and slaughtering the sacrificial animals.

The municipal commissioner advised people to avoid eating and drinking during visits to cattle markets.

People were also advised not to squeeze any tick with their bare hands as its infected blood could cause Congo virus.

He said butchers should also use gloves while slaughtering sacrificial animals and people should wash hands after having come in contact with animals and their blood.