NHS thanks Muslim staff working through Ramadan

NHS leaders have thanked and commended Muslim staff and key healthcare workers for serving on the frontline and in supporting roles whilst fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Muslims and other faith communities have met the additional challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic by continuing to work without sustenance during working hours.

In April, the NHS developed new Ramadan guidance in partnership with the NHS Muslim Network and the British Islamic Medical Association, outlining key advice to NHS staff and managers working in hospitals and healthcare settings during coronavirus. The guidance, published on the NHS People website, covers adjustments over working hours and fasting arrangements for Muslim colleagues alongside information and support on Covid-19.

As the Muslim community prepare for an end to the first Ramadan held in coronavirus lockdown, with fasting and individual, personal observation of spiritual reflection set to end, the NHS has also issued a reminder about social distancing ahead of the upcoming Eid festival, in the same way that other faith communities have also adapted practices through religious festivals, including Easter, Passover and Vaisakhi.

Coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on black and minority ethnic communities with many Muslims losing family members and friends, along with colleagues across the different healthcare professions, including doctors, nurses, health visitors and midwives.

Habib  Naqvi, deputy director of the Workforce Race Equality Standard, said: “I would like to extend warm Eid greetings to all NHS staff, regardless of their faith. Along with the rest of the UK, the Muslim NHS workforce has made sterling efforts and sacrifices to delay the spread of the coronavirus by heeding social distancing and adapting government advice. This has been a unique time globally, with festivals of Ramadan and Eid occurring during the peak of Covid-19. Muslims and other faith communities have met these challenges head on, and it’s inspiring to see people using technology for prayer and iftar with family and friends throughout Ramadan.

“This virus has made some of our BME communities more vulnerable, so while coronavirus restrictions still remain in place during this Eid, the key message remains: stay at home unless absolutely necessary, to help contain the virus and save lives.”

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