Saturday, October 23, 2021  | 16 Rabiulawal, 1443
Samaa TV
Facebook Twitter Youtube
HOME > Health

COVID-19 infection rates could spike during Ramazan: WHO

Countries should do a risk assessment, the health body advises

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 15, 2021 | Last Updated: 6 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Apr 15, 2021 | Last Updated: 6 months ago

Muslim women offer prayers on the first night of Ramadan at the Osmanagic mosque in Podgorica. Photo: AFP

Listen to the story
The World Health Organization expressed concern Wednesday that the Covid-19 pandemic could worsen in the Middle East and North Africa during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Detected cases of COVID-19 infection in the region rose 22% last week, while deaths rose 17%, said Ahmed al-Mandhari, the Cairo-based chief of the WHO for the eastern Mediterranean. Mandhari said the situation in the vast region reflects a "worrying trend". "We are especially worried that the current situation may worsen during Ramadan if people don't follow and adhere to the proven social measures that work," he told an online news conference. Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, began in most Muslim countries on Tuesday. Observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, and traditionally gather with family and friends to break their fast in the evening. "This year, like last year, people may feel that the spirit of Ramadan has changed because of social distancing and lockdowns," said Mandhari. "But the actions that need to be maintained to help contain the pandemic are in line with the basic tenets of Islam: take care of your physical health and do no harm to others." Dalia Samhouri, WHO's regional head of emergency preparedness, said the international organisation wanted "countries to do a risk assessment in order to prevent the dissemination of the infection". She suggested measures that could be taken around mosques during Ramadan, including physical distancing, ventilation, and regular disinfection. People who felt sick were advised to stay at home, along with the elderly and sufferers of chronic disease, she said. Mandhari said all countries in the region had received vaccines, but that those with the most limited access were Yemen and Syria. "Although progress has been made with starting vaccination around the world, there remains a shocking imbalance in the distribution of vaccines," he said. "This is especially true in our region." In Yemen, where some 14 million doses were pledged through the Covax programme that aims to ensure equitable access to Covid vaccinations, only 360,000 have been delivered. Follow SAMAA English on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
FaceBook WhatsApp

The World Health Organization expressed concern Wednesday that the Covid-19 pandemic could worsen in the Middle East and North Africa during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Detected cases of COVID-19 infection in the region rose 22% last week, while deaths rose 17%, said Ahmed al-Mandhari, the Cairo-based chief of the WHO for the eastern Mediterranean.

Mandhari said the situation in the vast region reflects a “worrying trend”.

“We are especially worried that the current situation may worsen during Ramadan if people don’t follow and adhere to the proven social measures that work,” he told an online news conference.

Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, began in most Muslim countries on Tuesday.

Observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, and traditionally gather with family and friends to break their fast in the evening.

“This year, like last year, people may feel that the spirit of Ramadan has changed because of social distancing and lockdowns,” said Mandhari.

“But the actions that need to be maintained to help contain the pandemic are in line with the basic tenets of Islam: take care of your physical health and do no harm to others.”

Dalia Samhouri, WHO’s regional head of emergency preparedness, said the international organisation wanted “countries to do a risk assessment in order to prevent the dissemination of the infection”.

She suggested measures that could be taken around mosques during Ramadan, including physical distancing, ventilation, and regular disinfection.

People who felt sick were advised to stay at home, along with the elderly and sufferers of chronic disease, she said.

Mandhari said all countries in the region had received vaccines, but that those with the most limited access were Yemen and Syria.

“Although progress has been made with starting vaccination around the world, there remains a shocking imbalance in the distribution of vaccines,” he said.

“This is especially true in our region.”

In Yemen, where some 14 million doses were pledged through the Covax programme that aims to ensure equitable access to Covid vaccinations, only 360,000 have been delivered.

Follow SAMAA English on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 
HOME  
 
 
RELATED STORIES

Tell us what you think:

Your email address will not be published.

FaceBook WhatsApp
 
 
 
WHO coronavirus, WHO covid19, covid 19, Ramadan, ramadan coronavirus, ramadan sops coronavirus, fasting and covid, fasting and coronavirus, Syria, Yemen, Middle East coronavirus, South africa
 
 
 
 
 
 
About Us   |   Anchor Profiles   |   Online Advertising   |   Contact Us   |   Feedback   |   Apps   |   FAQs   |   Authors   |   Comment Policy
Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Instagram   |   YouTube   |   WhatsApp