Muslim NHS staff in Bradford urge people to celebrate Eid at home

AS RAMADAN comes to an end, NHS organisations across Bradford are advising Muslims to celebrate Eid at home and follow social distancing guidance.

Kez Hayat, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I would like to wish all our Muslim colleagues, patients and communities a very happy and prosperous Eid.

“We know this year it is going to be very different due to Covid-19, and I would like to remind you all to stay safe and pray at home.

“Wishing you all a blessed Eid Mubarak!”

Dr Sohail Abbas, GP and Deputy Clinical Chair at NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “To help stop the spread of coronavirus, the single most important action we can all take is to reduce our day-to-day contact with other people.

“During Eid, we still need to follow social distancing guidance – which includes avoiding social gatherings – for the safety of everyone.”

And Dr Junaid Azam, GP and Strategic Clinical Director at NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG, said: “With the mosques being closed, we cannot replace the congregational gatherings by holding prayers in parks or other outdoor spaces.

“We cannot become complacent even as some of the lockdown restrictions are lifted.”

People of all ages, including younger people, are advised to stay at home, even if they do not have symptoms of coronavirus, or any other health conditions. When going out for essential trips such as shopping or collecting medicines, everyone should stay two metres (about three steps) apart from people who are not part of their household.

Dr Azam added: “We have experienced the strangest Ramadan ever while observing the Government’s guidance but our Muslim communities in Bradford district and Craven have made the best use of technology to ensure their spiritual observations have continued safely.

“It is difficult when we all want to get together to celebrate Eid as a community, but we are encouraging everyone to continue to use online platforms to communicate with their loved ones.”

Zulfi Karim, President of Bradford Council of Mosques and director of BTHFT’s community health programme, Well Bradford, said: “We want our Muslim communities to celebrate Eid safely. Therefore we strongly recommend that all Eid congregational prayers in mosques, parks and open spaces should not be held under any circumstances.

“This is a decision that the Council for Mosques does not take lightly but reflects the continuing risks to the health of Muslim communities and others living in Bradford district and Craven.

“We wish everyone a blessed Eid and ask you to offer prayers at home and stay at home to help save lives.” 

Dr Abbas added: “Coronavirus is still a very serious condition. Anyone in the family can catch coronavirus – young or old – and it is easily spread to other people. Our advice is to stay at home as much as you can. You can also stop the spread of coronavirus by continuing to wash your hands, for at least 20 seconds, more often.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to let you know that if you do need health advice, health and care services are still here to help. Don’t put it off, this can make it worse, especially for people who are showing signs of serious conditions such as cancer or heart problems.”

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Pictured: Kez Hayat, Head of Diversity and Inclusion @BTHFT