As the coronavirus pandemic has forced scores of countries to go in lockdown, millions of Muslims around the world will celebrate one of their biggest religious festivals, Eid ul-Fitr.
Due to the rise in daily number of COVID-19 cases, Centre and Islamic leaders had urged the Muslim community to offer prayers from home and not to congregate.
Even as the government has given relaxations in the fourth phase of lockdown, the commercial area of Kozhikode wore a subdued look with shopkeepers awaiting buyers. Some shops had customers but what has changed is the approach of buyers who are not visiting in numbers.
"We resumed our work four to five days ago but there are only a few buyers in the market. As a result of this, we are left with only 10 per cent business post lockdown," told Saeed, a shop owner in the Calicut market told ANI.
Earlier, the businesses used to witness peak during the festival period but due to coronavirus, the number of customers have reduced in the market.
"We were expecting business ahead of Eid but we are disappointed with the current situation," added Saeed.
Shop owners are not the only ones who have been impacted due to COVID-19, an auto driver, Mohammad Nazeer told ANI, "We have to wait for an hour or two to earn the simple amount like Rs 25-30."
"There used to be so much rush in the market in the pre-COVID times but now the buyers are travelling with their own vehicles as they fear the spread of coronavirus," he added.
Eid-ul-Fitr is the first day of the 10th Islamic month of Shawwal and marks the conclusion of the holy month of Ramzan, which is a month of fasting and prayer. The Shawwal moon is first sighted in Saudi Arabia. The timings and dates, however, differ in all countries.
This year, Ramadan in India began on April 26 and it lasts for one complete moon cycle, which is usually 29 to 30 days. Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Monday, the Delhi Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari told news agency PTI on Saturday, saying that the moon had not been sighted.