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Stay home and save lives this Ramadan

A graphic with the words "Observe Social Distancing Guidelines this Ramadan." Published Thursday, 23rd April 2020

This year’s holy month will be like no other before it, but there are lots of ways you can adapt your religious practices, whilst abiding by Government guidelines.

Video and social media could be used to connect you to worship services and ceremonies. Individual pastoral and care visits could be received by phone.

Despite being physically apart, religious practices could be observed at the same time of day as the rest of your faith community.  Your faith leaders will be able to advise you on the many ways for you to stay connected.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire said: ”Today marks the start of Ramadan. I would like to send my very best wishes to anyone celebrating this very special religious month. I appreciate it will be a really unique Ramadan this year with practices adapting to the testing times we’re in, but it is crucial that everybody stays home during the holy month and saves lives.

The government has recognised that this is an unprecedented request but following these rules will help control the spread of coronavirus and protect family, friends, the wider community, and the most vulnerable.”

Fasting for healthy people can continue as usual this Ramadan. If you have very mild symptoms of coronavirus or a flu-like illness and don’t require medication or treatment, as advised by a physician, you can also fast but should do so while self-isolating.

In addition to performing wudu before prayers, healthy hygiene should also be maintained through handwashing for 20 seconds, using soap and water or a hand sanitiser, when you enter your home, blow your nose, sneeze or cough and eat or handle food, to help protect yourself and others. 

Osman Dar, Consultant in Global Health at Public Health England added: “Ramadan is a time for prayer, contemplation, self-sacrifice and charity – all of these qualities are key to supporting our collective effort in tackling this pandemic.
This Ramadan, let’s think about how we can best protect the most vulnerable in our families, amongst our neighbours and in all our diverse communities. By working together we can minimise the transmission of coronavirus and reduce the chances of overwhelming our health and care services. Let us not forget the deeply spiritual reminders this pandemic brings; unite, pull together and leave nobody behind insha’Allah.”

Traditionally, Ramadan is a time for communal prayer, spiritual reflection, meals with extended family and friends to break daily fasts, and concludes with the community celebration of Eid-Al Fitr.