In 2020 the Ramadan will take place between the evening of Thursday 23 April and end on the evening of Saturday 23 May.
The practice of fasting is an important part of Ramadan. This involves the complete abstinence from food, drink and smoking between sunrise and sunset over the month. It’s also a time for self-reflection and evaluation.
The Covid-19 pandemic will mean what is traditionally a communal time when families can come together will be different this year. Such congregational acts of worship have been suspended this year to combat the spread of the virus. Please spend #RamdanAtHome and see the useful advice provided by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).
It’s important to remember that there are several exemptions allowed to fasting. Those with increased risk of contracting COVID-19 should consider alternative options. These include those who are unwell due to conditions including diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or those who are on medication, pregnant or elderly.
Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers treating Covid-19 patients are strongly recommended to carefully consider all the alternative options and attempt the fast if they are able to. If they struggle to continue, the fast can be broken and repeated at a later date.
For those who will be unable to fast due to the strong likelihood of dehydration and severe thirst due to wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), along with the risk of making clinical errors, which could potentially affect lives, the fasts can be postponed to a later date.
In some instances access to prayer facilities and quiet rooms maybe restricted or resources maybe reduced due to staff absence. Staff should talk to their manager and the local chaplaincy team if they have any concerns or queries.
NHS services are still operating both online or over the phone instead of face to face. Please don’t hesitate to contact NHS 111 online or over the phone if you are a member of your family are unwell. It’s important that you don’t delay seeking treatment.
Speak to your clinical team if you or a member of your family is receiving treatment at this time and you have any questions.
Click here for a video on this from Yunus Dudhwala, head of chaplaincy at Barts NHS Trust.