Health leaders across Coventry and Warwickshire would like to wish the local Muslim community a very “Happy Eid” this weekend and are reminding people to stay alert and safe during celebrations.
This weekend, many households in Coventry and Warwickshire will be celebrating Eid-al Fitr. This is known as the ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’ which comes at the end of Ramadan – the month of fasting which began on April 23rd. Eid-al Fitr is predicted to start on the evening 23 May and end on the evening of 24 May, this is subject to the official sighting of the moon.
Dr David Spraggett, Chair at NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Muslims have shown great resolve throughout Ramadan and the coronavirus pandemic, adapting to a different way of life by attending virtual gatherings and live streaming religious services to their homes.
“Eid is traditionally a special time to celebrate with friends and family, but this year will be very different for the local Muslim community. It may be different but the important key message is to celebrate Eid safely by staying at home.”
Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair at NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG, said: “Mosques are still closed, and current social distancing measures mean that people will be celebrating in their in their own homes away from other loved ones such as relatives, friends and the wider community.
“This will of course be challenging, and we are encouraging people to make use of online technology to connect with their congregations, families and friends during the weekend celebrations, just as they did for Ramadan.”
Current advice for celebrating Eid in England is:
- Perform prayers at home, connect virtually with others
- Buy and exchange gifts using online and postal services
- Enjoy home-cooked or take-away meals at home, connect virtually with others
- Do not go to the mosque, as they are closed and community gatherings are not permitted
- Do not visit family and friends in their homes
- Do not gather in a group of more than two, with people who are not from your household.
Dr Imogen Staveley, Chair at NHS Warwickshire North CCG, said: “Eid will be celebrated over what is also the bank holiday weekend. Whilst it is tempting to want to get together with others and enjoy the long weekend, it’s vital that we all still follow the national guidance which is that we should only meet with one other person from another household outdoors and stay two metres apart. Larger gatherings are not permitted as we all try to stay alert, control the virus and save lives.”
Current national guidance is to:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Go to work if you can’t work from home (speak to your employer about how you can return to work safely)
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you do go out (2 meters apart where possible)
- Avoid public transport and if possible walk, cycle or drive to work
- Stay two metres apart from others when outside
- Exercise as much as desired outside but maintain a two-metre distance from others
- If possible, wear face coverings in places where maintaining social distancing is difficult
- You can meet one other person from another household outside, but remain two metres apart
- Remember to wash hands more often, with soap and water (or hand gel) and for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you have any of these symptoms. Stay at home and isolate. If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), then you must stay at home for at least 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
If you require further help access NHS 111 online, only call if you can’t get online help. Please also call 999 for life threatening emergencies, the NHS is still available for non-covid related serious health problems.
Muslim Council of Britain - https://mcb.org.uk/
NHS 111 https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
NHS coronavirus https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/