In COVID-19 Updates

Update 9 from COVID-19 Crisis Task Force

As-Salāmu ‘Alaykum

To our Community members and attendees,

We hope you are all keeping well.

Experts at Ontario Health, Public Health Ontario and researchers at Ontario universities provided an analysis on April 20, 2020 where data showed that the province of Ontario is facing two different processes:
1. Community spread of COVID-19 which peaked, and is now in a plateau. We hope for a decline in new daily cases.
2. Spread in long-term care and other congregate settings seems to be growing.

While Ontario is urgently implementing a COVID-19 Action Plan to protect long-term care homes, and issued an emergency order for employees working in long-term care homes, there is a continued implementation of enhanced public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve. The public has been advised to continue to stay home, observe personal hygiene (wash hands thoroughly) and maintain physical distancing. These actions are making a different and we need to stay the course.

Impact of COVID-19 on Ramadān

Ramadān this year is going to be quite a different experience. Muslims worldwide will be adjusting to having Iftar at home, listening to the programs online, and adhering to health guidelines.

Here are some considerations:

  • Healthy people should be able to fast during this Ramadān as in previous years. No studies have been performed of fasting and risk of COVID-19 infection.
  • Many people may feel restricted in their movements. In lieu of outdoor activities, indoor physical movement and online physical activity classes are encouraged. If you are going for a walk, please ensure you adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
  • Tobacco use is ill-advised under any circumstances, especially during Ramadān and the COVID-19 pandemic. Frequent smokers may already have lung disease, or reduced lung capacity, which greatly increases the risk of serious COVID-19 illness. When smoking cigarettes, the fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) touch the lips, which increases the likelihood of the virus entering the respiratory system.
  • Proper nutrition and hydration are vital during the month of Ramadān. People should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day and drink plenty of water.
  • Ensure that family, friends, and elders are still engaged in light of physical distancing; encourage them to join in alternate and digital platforms for interaction.

Additionally, at the most recent online seminar titled ‘COVID-19: A Medical Review‘, a question was asked regarding delivery of food to friends and family in the month of Ramadān. The advice given was as follows:

  1. The person preparing the food must wash their hands thoroughly and ensure the area/surface where they are cooking is clean. They should not deliver/share food outside if they have someone who is unwell at home.
  2. During delivery, physical distancing measures must be adhered to.
  3. The recipient should discard the bag and container in which the food was delivered and should heat the food (to kill any virus in the remote chance that there is any at all).

The ISIJ of Toronto is planning is planning the Ramadān program in a virtual setting, catering to both ladies and gents. There will be daily programs online and a detailed guide will be communicated in a separate communique later this week.

We ask that you keep our community and all of humanity at the forefront of your prayers and seek from the Almighty that we are relieved of this difficult situation soon.

With Salāms & Du’ās

ISIJ Secretariat Office
Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto
905.695.9786 | admin@jaffari.org