Ministry of Health has asked the Muslim community to adhere to Covid-19 precautionary measures to remain safe while fasting during Ramadan.
In a statement, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said this year’s Ramadan has come at a time the country is facing the Covid-19 pandemic and government is rolling out the Covid-19 vaccination.
She said: “It is important to note that there is no evidence to suggest that fasting can increase risk of Covid-19 infection, but adherence to preventive and containment measures will reduce the risk of transmission.
“Healthy people should be able to fast while Covid-19 patients or those showing symptoms post infection may consider religious licences to break their fast in consultation with their doctor.”
The minister advised the Muslim faithful to consider practising the Covid-19 preventive measures such as frequent hand washing with soap or use of hand sanitiser, proper wearing of face masks, maintaining physical distance and practising cough and sneeze etiquette as well as avoiding large gatherings and events, especially.
Where possible, the minister proposed virtual gatherings to ensure less people meet during prayers.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Muslim Association of Malawi spokesperson Sheikh Dinala Chabulika said the faithful have already been advised to adhere to Covid-19 measures during the Holy month and that mosques have sanitation facilities.
He said: “The advice from the government is very important and welcome. In fact, all necessary messages and interventions have already been disseminated to everyone to ensure we stay safe from pandemic infections.”
Chabulika wished Muslims well as they fast and advised them to reach out to less privileged people in society with good deeds.
Ramadan is a Holy month on the Islamic calendar when the faithful fast, reflect on their faith and pray. It is celebrated as the month which Muhammad received the initial revelations of the Quran, the holy book for Muslims.
Fasting is one of the five fundamental principles of Islam and each day during Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset.
This year’s Ramadan started on April 12 and will end on May 12