Covid-19: Middle East ends Ramadan with multiplying number of infected

The end of Ramadan, and the break in fasting that marks it, is celebrated at sunset today.

According to Efe, if in some countries in the region such as Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia restrictions were lifted before the beginning of the fasting month, governments have now reversed and decreed wider curfews, closing trade and banning travel between provinces.

In Egypt, the curfew had been reduced during Ramadan until 9 pm local time, and as of Sunday, the beginning of the “Aid al Fitr” festivities (end of Ramadan), and until next Friday, it starts to be at 17:00, local time, thus prohibiting departures in the hours of greatest activity of the day, because they are the hottest.

During this special month for Muslims, Ramadan, Egyptian authorities saw a 266% increase in contagions from the new coronavirus, while deaths from covid-19 rose from 294 to 696, according to a comparison by the agency Efe.

Saudi Arabia has also decided to re-impose the 24-hour curfew, starting today and until next Wednesday, the day when Muslims gather with the family to celebrate with great banquets the end of the sacrifice of the fast month.

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the country in the zone with the most infected cases, with a 350% increase at the end of the last 30 days, reaching 67,719 on May 22, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

In both Egypt and the Saudi kingdom, people are forbidden to move between provinces and the Cairo authorities have suspended public transport for five days to prevent Egyptians from undertaking trips and excursions and returning to their places of origin.

In the Persian Gulf, most countries experienced a considerable increase in contagions, although not in deaths from covid-19, as the number of tests to detect the disease also increased.

In Kuwait, those infected are now seven times more than on the first day of Ramadan; in Qatar they are almost five times more and in the United Arab Emirates the number has multiplied by three.

In some countries, the authorities admitted that the increase in cases is due to the crowds in the stores where the typical Ramadan products were purchased, as well as in the meetings to take the 'iftar', which is the food with which the fast is broken at dusk. and what is usually done with family and friends.

Mosques have been closed throughout the month throughout the region and will not open again for the traditional joint prayer of “Aida l Fitr”, which takes place at dawn on the first day after the end of Ramadan.

In Portugal, the Islamic community in Lisbon will mark the end of Ramadan by staying at home, with only the central mosque expected to hold “some prayers and virtual lectures”, Sheikh David Munir told Lusa.

There is the possibility that this year there will be prayers and virtual lectures, but David Munir stressed that the date is usually for staying at home and celebrating with the family. Visiting other family members is also not advised this year, he added.

Globally, according to a report by the AFP news agency, the covid-19 pandemic has already caused more than 335,000 deaths and infected more than 5.1 million people in 196 countries and territories.

More than 1.9 million patients were considered cured.

In Portugal, 1,289 people out of 30,200 confirmed as infected died, and there are 7,590 recovered cases, according to the Directorate-General for Health.

The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.

IYN // JH

Covid-19: Middle East content ends Ramadan with multiplication of infected number appears first in Vision.

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