Berkshire GP takes to camera to talk about Ramadan and COVID-19 pandemic
NHS commissioners have launched a short video featuring a local Muslim GP to help explain how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact on the holy month of Ramadan.
Filmed in both English with an Urdu version soon to be released, Dr Azma Ali who works in Berkshire, explains how Ramadan will be different for fellow Muslims this year due to the coronavirus which continues to affect almost every aspect of everyone’s day to day lives.
Staying at home during Ramadan will play an important part in the nation’s effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is the message from health experts and Muslim leaders as communities across England prepare to celebrate the holy month.
This means a change to the usual practices, with no prayers at local mosques or anywhere outside people’s homes, no spiritual talks in the community or Iftars with friends and family. These are traditionally very popular elements of Ramadan for members of the Muslim community.
However, Dr Ali explains how Ramadan can still very much be observed both spiritually and socially while adhering to the social distancing measures in place – and how technology can play a role.
She said: “There are many ways in which Muslims can still engage in Ramadan spiritually and socially, despite the distancing measures.
“You may be able to access services livestreamed by your local mosque, or online sermon and prayer sessions hosted by Imams. These will allow you to take part safely. You may also find community virtual Iftars, or set up your own with friends and family using video conferencing facilities.
She added: “It’s vital that we stay connected with our loved ones for our own good health and wellbeing.”
In her video, Dr Ali also focuses on the importance of ensuring health and wellbeing for those who will be fasting as well as advice for those who are old or unwell.
“For those of us fasting, it is important that we eat at least two meals a day and stay hydrated during Suhoor and Iftar.” she said.
“Fasting is not obligatory for those who are old or unwell, and in light of the pandemic, it is particularly pertinent that those who would be putting their health at risk by fasting, observe caution, and refrain from doing so.” She added.
For more guidance on Ramadan 2020, please visit The Muslim Council of Britain website https://mcb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/MCB-Ramadan-2020-Guidance.pdf or https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/04/22/stay-at-home-for-ramadan/. For more information on Coronavirus, visit www.nhs.uk
Note: We are grateful to our colleagues at East Berkshire Primary Care for working with us to produce this video.