As hundreds of millions of Muslim believers begin the holy month of Ramadan, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued key guidelines about how religious events should be conducted, to avoid transmission of the virus.
Ramadan is marked by social and religious gatherings where Muslim families and friends break their fast together, after sunset or before dawn.
Many Muslims also increase their attendance at mosques during the month and congregate for longer prayers.
WHO’s top piece of advice is for people to practise physical distancing “by strictly maintaining a distance of at least one metre” (or three feet) between people at all times.
It also highlights the value of eating plenty of fresh and unprocessed foods every day and drinking plenty of water.
Events should be held outdoors if possible, the agency suggests; otherwise, organizers should ensure that indoor venues have adequate ventilation.
To avoid physical contact, greetings such as waving, nodding, or placing your hand over your heart are recommended.
Governments – in coordination with religious leaders – are also urged to stop large gathering in places associated with Ramadan activities, such as entertainment venues, markets, and shops.
The WHO says that national health authorities should be considered the primary source of information on all COVID-19 measures in the context of Ramadan.
For more information, just visit the WHO website.