While half the world is confined because of the coronavirus epidemic, religious celebrations and events take place in a peculiar context. Like for Christians with the Easter celebrations, Muslims are getting ready to celebrate a special Ramadan. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued recommendations about this month of fasting that is said to start circa April 23, 2020.
So, is fasting a risk amid coronavirus? The WHO says that so far, no study has been carried out as for fasting and the risk of an infection, and that people in good health should be able to follow. For those who’ve been infected by covid-19, it’s recommended to “consider religious licenses regarding breaking the fast in consultation with their doctors, as they would do with any other disease”. This recommendation also involves people showing symptoms, letting forecast a coronavirus case.
For the most vulnerable profiles, the WHO urges “older people and anyone with pre-existing medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer) not to attend gatherings, as they are considered vulnerable to sever disease and death from COVID-19”.
Generally speaking, the WHO reminds the importance of social distancing whether in praying areas or in any context leading to a gathering. A one-meter distance between people is recommended.
The month of Ramadan being tightly linked to charity (Sadaqat or Zakah), the WHO also issues recommendations as for donations. As for food donations, the organization encourages to consider centralized entities and institutions and use individual pre-packaged boxes/servings of food.
As for Paris Mosque, it announced an iftar against isolation and plans to give food to break the fast in different centers. It also announces to adapt as for donations. As of today, you can send a check with your donation to Institut Musulman de la Mosquée de Paris by mail at “Place du Puis de l’Ermite, 75005 Paris”.