Ramadan and Covid 19

KEEP YOUR FASTS BUT PRAY AT HOME URGES LOCAL GP

A local GP believes the coronavirus will have no direct impact on people fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Dr. P Muzaffar has advised those with medical conditions need to keep monitoring their health during the holy month and also avoid religious gatherings until restrictions are eased.

Dr P Muzaffar urges the public to follow government advice through the month of Ramadan

The local GP, based in Darwen, is working with community group One Voice Blackburn in delivering key health messages to the local south Asian heritage community.

“There is no indication that people need to change their fasting procedures in Ramadan. Those with health conditions who normally do not fast need to ensure that they stick to that advice,” said Dr. Muzaffar.

“People with diabetes, heart problems, a low immune system and lung conditions have more chances of dying with Covid-19. This group should monitor their symptoms of any fever, diarrhoea, cough, a shortness of breath, abdominal pain, headache, and red painful eyes.”

Alongside NHS England and Public Heath England guidance, he believes that the urge to gather in religious congregations should be absolutely discouraged.

“Although mosques have been rightly closed in this period, there may be a tendency during Ramadan to gather in groups for worship. I cannot stress that this should be avoided in the strictest terms. This lockdown may need to be extended until Eid and beyond.”

Other measures that have been advised include the social distancing of at least 2 metres, frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds, and discouraging of mass shopping trips in the run up to Ramadan.

“The message is clear. Stay at home, observe your fast, observe your praying rituals in the comfort of your own home, with the family members that you live with, and pray for the safety of all of us,” said Dr Muzaffer who supports the ‘Stay at Home’ message encouraged by One Voice.

One Voice Blackburn is conducting many of its group online through their 1V digital portals.