UAE Ramadan 2020 During Coronavirus: Here's What You Can Expect
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UAE Ramadan 2020 During Coronavirus: Here's What You Can Expect

Ramadan 2020 is almost here but almost everything in the world is in lockdown, including UAE. Here's what you can expect

Ramadan is a special time in the UAE. Work hours change, there is more time devoted to family, prayers and the spirit of brotherhood. Volunteers stand on the street and give food. Schools are also operating during shorter hours. Then there is Eid, which is ultimately one of the best and sweetest holidays in the year. Muslims fast during Ramadan and then celebrate three days of food and family and sharing kindnesses on Eid ul Fitr.

However, after the advent of coronavirus, a lot of these things might change. And a 'different' Ramadan is expected not just in the UAE but all over the world. A few days ago, Al Arabiya reported that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had suspended the seasonal minor Umrah pilgrimage for national and foreign worshippers. The country wa in lockdown and a curfew was being implemented to tackle the crises. Currently there are 3,651 cases in Saudi Arabia with 47 deaths. As of today, 685 patients have recovered.

As of now, UAE has 3360 cases, 16 deaths and 418 recoveries. Yesterday, UAE reported 370 new cases, its highest yet. But it also means that UAE has been testing extensively. UAE has conducted 593,095 tests so far, one of the highest in the world per 1 million population. 85% of the cases of COVID-19 in the UAE are mild.

Given the proactive measures that UAE has taken to fight COVID-19, the peak will soon flatten and internal markets and malls might open. However, it all depends on how many numbers we see in the next two weeks. If the curve flattens, markets may reopen soon. But if the cases continue to peak in the rest of the world, it might not be feasible to reopen the airports. Currently there are 1,714,517 cases in the world with 103,790 deaths and 388,592 recoveries. The whole needs to flatten the curve before markets can 'open'. Medical experts are also working on a vaccine but that is not going to be seen for a while.

A report in Gulf News stated that the Grand Mufti at the Dubai Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, Dr Ali Ahmad Masha’el has said: “Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam, and nothing can excuse one from not fasting except for ailing people who are on medication and fasting may complicate their health condition". So you can fast unless you are suffering from symptoms. And if you are suffering from any symptoms, it is important that you immediately consult a health expert.

Thus, while it's important to continue social distancing, which health experts say will have to be the 'new normal', you can try to pray and observe your fasts in isolation as much as you possibly can. Hopefully a vaccine or a strong anti-viral drug will soon be developed and life can go back to 'normal'. Until then we have to wait and watch and make the most sensible decisions possible.

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