Muslims begin holy month of Ramadan amidst Covid restrictions

Muslim men wearing masks offer prayers at a mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan, May 1, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic in New Delhi. A Vatican official said Christians and Muslims can protect places of worship together. (CNS photo/Anushree Fadnavis, Reuters) See RAMADAN-VATICAN May 1, 2020.

Muslims across Africa will today begin observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan. For the second year, restrictions are in force in some countries during the month.

Many countries, including Egypt, have banned congregational prayers in mosques.

Tunisian Prime Minister, Hichem Mechichi, on Sunday backpedaled on a decision to extend the hours of a night curfew, following concern for people’s livelihoods.

Mr. Mechichi, who has long been at odds with President Kaïs Saïed, had on April 7 announced that a curfew to curb a spike in Covid-19 cases will start at 7 pm, instead of 10pm ahead of Ramadan.

Two days later, he called on the Prime Minister to review the decision, to avoid the loss of thousands of jobs during the holy month in which Muslims fast until sunset.

Last year, African leaders sent special Ramadan messages of hope to Muslims on the continent amid unprecedented restrictions to counter the spread of the virus.

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