Ramadan UAE: How to stay Covid safe during the holy month

Abu Dhabi - Residents warned as UAE prepares for second holy month in pandemic times.

By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Mon 12 Apr 2021, 5:08 PM

Avoid shaking hands, hugging and public gatherings during Ramadan, medics have warned residents, as the UAE prepares to observe its second holy month in pandemic times.

“Considering the pandemic situation, community members must avoid public gatherings, especially at majlis. Those going to mosques for prayers must strictly follow safety guidelines,” said Dr Mohammed Shafeeq, head of department, internal medicine, Medeor Hospital, Dubai.

Dr Shafeeq noted that any large gatherings related to Ramadan activities may increase chances of getting infected and spreading it to others. “Avoid hugs and handshakes to remain safe and for the well-being of others.”

Dr Shafeeq said people must not share iftar meals with others, especially neighbours and friends, which otherwise, is a norm during Ramadan.

“Iftar and suhoor shall only be shared between people living in the same house. People must keep in mind the current situation. The number of new cases is going down. We must show great self-discipline during this month and avoid distribution and exchange of food between neighbours, friends and relatives.”

Ramadan is a time for reflection, fasting, devotion and also connecting with friends and family members for the faithful, but it could be dangerous especially for the elderly, said Dr Shafeeq. He said they need to take extra precaution while shopping in malls and hypermarkets and must avoid unnecessary outdoor visits. “Elderly people and those with chronic diseases that place them at greater risk should continue to avoid public places. Everyone must wear a mask all the time while they are outside their homes.”

Meanwhile, Dr Mustafa Saif, Internal Medicine (Specialist), Aster Hospital, Mankhool, urged people to eat a balanced diet to maintain a healthy immune system during the holy month.

“With Ramadan being observed in the summer, a proper diet is important to stay healthy and maintain your immune system. Now there will be a sudden change in the eating hours and the body will take time adjusting to the new schedule. People must avoid heavy meals or overeating. They must also refrain from fatty and sugary food and consume less carbohydrates, oily foods and eat a high calorie diet,” he said.

Dr Saif underlined that those fasting must drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. “People should increase hydration during the period. Especially now with summer, your body needs enough water intake, which can be done between iftar and suhoor. We must avoid a situation of dehydration.”

Dr Saif said fasting people should consult their doctors on medication. “People must take extra care on prescribed medication for hypertension, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. They must consult family physicians regarding timings of any new medications added, if one plans on keeping fast. Elderly people are instructed to have emergency numbers handy.”

Taking vaccines does not affect fasting, the doctors opined. Dr Saif noted: “Take the vaccine even if the date comes in between the fasting period.”

Dr Shafeeq added: “It is crucial that whether vaccinated or not, everyone must adhere to the safety protocols. Social distancing, proper masking and sanitisation of hands are key to preventing the illness.”



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