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‘Singled out’: Oldham’s Muslim group on lockdown controls | UK information

Late on Thursday evening, Mohammed Nawaz’s eating desk in Oldham was groaning beneath an Eid al-Adha feast fastidiously ready for the next morning.

His household’s new garments have been laid out able to spend the following day with uncles, aunties, cousins and oldsters after months aside whereas observing lockdown guidelines, even by way of Ramadan.

However in what grew to become a heartbreaking evening, this could all go to waste. The Nawaz household can be spending Eid alone after the well being secretary introduced on Twitter on Thursday that from midnight individuals from totally different households in Larger Manchester, components of east Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Leicester wouldn’t be capable to meet one another indoors or of their gardens.

Earlier this week individuals in Oldham have been advised to cease visiting family and friends to keep away from a full native lockdown after the variety of coronavirus circumstances greater than quadrupled in per week. Well being officers within the Larger Manchester city imposed new restrictions on Tuesday after the confirmed variety of circumstances rose from 26 to 119 within the week to 25 July.

Shoppers in Oldham town centre on Friday

Buyers in Oldham city centre on Friday. {Photograph}: Richard Saker/The Observer

The measures have been launched on the eve of Eid al-Adha celebrations and their introduction was prompted largely by individuals “not abiding to social distancing”, Hancock mentioned.

However the timing of this lockdown has left residents pissed off. Standing in Oldham city centre, Nawaz pointed in direction of a pub the place teams of individuals have been gathered. “I don’t perceive it. That is so unhealthy for us and we can’t see one another, however look, the pubs are open and persons are consuming and may go dancing however we are able to’t see our household. Why?”

The retired taxi driver’s ideas have been echoed by Mohammed Miah, 33, who mentioned the Muslim group felt just like the targets of the lockdown.

“We have now been singled out, in any other case why would you announce a lockdown the evening earlier than Eid? It’s sending out a sure form of message,” he mentioned. “I’m simply grateful that my mom lives with us, however there will probably be so many others we won’t get to see. They may have given us some discover, even just some days, however to do it the evening earlier than when all of the meals have been ready and we had made plans is simply not proper.”

Shariqa Yasmin, a 25-year-old carer, made the same level. “None of my household have had coronavirus or died from it and we’ve been following the foundations however to do that at the moment makes us all really feel like we’ve performed one thing incorrect. Would they ever do that with New Yr or Christmas?” she mentioned. “We’ll simply have to simply accept it and never see individuals however the way in which this has been dealt with doesn’t really feel good.”

For Carole and David Marsland life will just about proceed as regular with the brand new lockdown measures not likely affecting their day-to-day lives. Carole, a care house employee, mentioned: “Not a lot of a lockdown actually for us as a result of we are able to nonetheless exit and pop to the pub if we wish – however we all know for Asian individuals it’s been more durable as a result of at the moment is Eid for them.

Carole and David Marsland

Carole and David Marsland. {Photograph}: Richard Saker/The Observer

“If this occurred on Christmas day we might be upset so we perceive the place they’re coming from.”

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