One of the elements that contribute to a rise in COVID-19 infections is gatherings. Ramadan (the month when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset) and Eid (the celebration after the month) are times when gatherings appear to have contributed to the deaths of many in the Muslim community. Research has found that Muslims make up around 2% of South Africa’s population, yet account for 5% of the total COVID deaths so far.
A similar trend was seen in Indonesia, which is experiencing high waves of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Many of the deaths were around the time of Ramadan and Eid. Gatherings can be superspreader events – in any religion or society.
The research also looked at mortality rates in South Africa. It found that people of Indian and Malay descent were more likely than other population groups to succumb to the virus. It is important that people try to avoid gatherings when the next Eid takes place around 21 July.
In today’s episode of Pasha, Salim Parker, an honorary research associate at the department of medicine at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, discusses how gatherings can be superspreader events and how to avoid the risk.
“South African Muslims gather to perform Eid al-Fitr prayer within precautions against the novel type of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, at the Quds Mosque in Cape Town, South Africa on May 14, 2021.” Byabiso Mkhabela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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