Ramadan 2020 in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance for Public Health
Ramadan is a sacred month in Islam which involves 29-30 days of dawn-till-dusk dry-fasting. Millions of Muslims are observing Ramadan fasting (RF) this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain ethnic groups in the UK, including Muslims, have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, raising fears that fasting could bring additional risks. This review presents evidence that RF is safe and beneficial for healthy people. However, fasting during COVID-19 may hamper these benefits due to social isolation, physical inactivity, stress etc. It is concluded that RF during the COVID-19 pandemic is not a cause for concern for healthy people who adopt a balanced diet, drink plenty of fluids, engage in regular physical activity etc. Ill people are exempt from fasting and should seek medical advice if they wish to fast. RF during the COVID-19 pandemic will be unique and future research will reveal its impact on human health. The COVID-19 virus is expected to remain for some time and may become seasonal. Therefore, the evidence and guidance presented in this review is valid beyond Ramadan as intermittent fasting is practised more widely, irrespective of religion, throughout the year as a therapeutic means for several conditions.
Citation : Elmajnoun, H.K., Elhag, M.R.A., Mohamed, H., Haris, P.I., Abu-Median, A-B. (2020) Ramadan 2020 in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance for Public Health.