What pandemic? People throng markets in Hyderabad, Varanasi ahead of Ramadan Eid; videos surface

With a large part of India celebrating Eid on Friday, many chose to ignore the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in favour of a shopping spree. Visuals shared from two different Indian cities show hundreds out on the roads, with social distancing and the usage of masks having gone for a toss. Keep in mind that these individuals had also gathered in direct violation of ongoing lockdowns and curbs.

A video shared by news agency ANI showed all social distancing norms being flouted as people thronged shops in Hyderabad's Charminar area. The area appears to be packed with pedestrians as well as the occasional motorist and most do not seem seem to be in possession of masks. Others still wandered around with the protective covering perched on their chins and necks. In view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, Telangana has imposed a 10-day statewide lockdown from Wednesday.

A similar situation was seen in Varanasi, with a large number of people being spotted in the Dal Mandi and Naya Sarak market areas on Thursday afternoon. A lockdown relaxation had been given in the city till 1 pm today in light of the upcoming Eid-Ul-Fitr celebrations.

Muslims in Kerala celebrated Eid al-Fitr -- the festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramzan -- on Thursday amid restrictions imposed to check the spread of COVID-19. The state is under a full lockdown from May 8 to 16 in view of the rising cases in the second wave of COVID-19.

A similar situation was seen in Jammu and Kashmir, where prayers were offered in small congregations at local mosques by observing social distancing and other restrictions. No Eid prayers were offered for the fourth consecutive time at the major mosques and shrines of Kashmir as police enforced a strict curfew in most parts of the valley, including Srinagar city, officials said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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