Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is promoting online animal sacrifice to help the country, and its industry, battle a new wave of Covid-19 infections.

Berik Uali, a spokesman for the premier of Central Asia's oil and gas powerhouse, posted a social network message on 20 July, passing on the online exhortation via a dedicated government-backed website.

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Kazakhstan is predicting a rapid increase in coronavirus infections this summer, so its authorities established the website to facilitate an online version of the ritual Qurban sacrifice of livestock, common during Islamic Eid al-Adha celebrations.

Surfers can select a sheep at the fixed price of some 70,000 Tenge ($164), with an option to receive pictures and a video of the sacrificial ceremony at no extra cost.

Tokayev and other governmental officials have urged Kazakh residents in cities and towns to avoid gathering en masse for Qurban celebrations.

The authorities have restricted access to mosques, permitted public festivities, public places and trains in the country.

Kazakhs will need to install a government-backed app on their smartphones to determine whether they will be allowed or refused entry, based on their location and suspected contacts with Covid-19 carriers.

In a country where oil and gas producers have been battling with some success to cope with the pandemic challenges, the app has received a one-star rating from users that have either been unable to register to use the service or generate the promised QR entry codes.