Geneva: Ahead of Ramadan, World Health Organization (WHO) issued interim guidelines for religious practices during the month of Ramadan. These guidelines were issued in the context of the COVID-19.
It may be noted that these guidelines are common for all countries.
As per WHO guidelines, healthy people should be able to able to fast during the holy month. However, COVID-19 patients can breakfast in consultation with doctors.
The organization also mentioned that no studies of fasting and risk of COVID-19 infection have been performed.
WHO strongly suggested cancellation of any social and religious gathering.
In India, social gathering is strictly prohibited as the country is in lockdown.
Maintain social distancing of at least 1 meter and avoid gathering in places associated with Ramadan activities, such as entertainment venues, markets, and shops.
In India, although, entertainment venues and malls are closed due to nationwide lockdown, people should follow social distancing norm when going out for unavoidable activities.
Mitigation measures for physical gathering during Ramadan
WHO listed mitigation measures for physical gathering in the countries where it is allowed.
- Hold event outdoor
- Shorten the length of the event.
- Regulate the number of people attending the event.
- Provide a handwashing facility at the entrance.
- Encourage people to bring personal prayer rugs to place over carpets.
- Clean the place of worship frequently.
The above is not exhaustive.
It may be noted that physical gatherings including congregational prayers at the masjid or any other place are not allowed in India till lockdown ends.
Physical distancing should be following while distributing ‘Zakah’ during Ramadan.
A complete list of guidelines can be accessed from the WHO website.