Celebrate Ramadan Safely: Dr. Wajid Ahmed

An Muslim man reads the holy book of Quran at a mosque during the second week of Ramadan in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, June 29, 2015. (AP / Tatan Syuflana)

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is encouraging the community to celebrate Ramadan safely.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed is hoping residents celebrate and pray at home with their household members only.

He says he understands Ramadan is typically a time of gathering but minimizing the risk of COVID-19 must be prioritized as the the pandemic continues in the region.

"Residents are encouraged to observe Ramadan while keeping health and safety in mind," he says.  "Despite the administration of COVID-19 vaccine in Windsor and Essex County, public health guidelines still apply to individuals whoever have already received one or two doses of vaccine."     

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Thousands of area Muslims gather for Eid prayers to end Ramadan, Central Park Athletics, June 4, 2019 (courtesy CTV Windsor)

Dr. Ahmed says if residents are planning to attend a mosque for prayers, they must follow all public health safety measures.

"Must maintain a physical distancing of two metres from others," says Dr. Ahmed.  "Wear a mask or face covering at all times while indoors and if you are unable to maintain a physical distance from others.  Do not gather outside prior to or after the prayers.     

He says in Ontario, mosques are permitted to open under the current restrictions and stay at home order but must limit their capacity to 15 per cent or less.  

Muslims worldwide celebrate Ramadan as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.

The celebration ends on May 12.