With the Islamic holy month of Ramadan starting on April 23, members of the Arabic community are encouraged to maintain social distancing to protect themselves and their loved ones from the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital Visiting Medical Officer and gastroenterologist, Dr Ahmad Alrubaie OAM, said social distancing measures meant family gatherings during Ramadan could not go ahead.
“Ramadan is a time for gatherings with family and friends but this year we must be cautious and stay at home. We cannot get together with our loved ones,’’ Dr Alrubaie said.
“I know this is difficult for everyone, but it will help to save the lives of the people you love.”
All residents must legally stay in their homes and only leave if they are seeking medical care, buying food and supplies, exercising or going to work or education (if it cannot be carried out from home).
“You should also keep a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and other people, where possible,’’ Dr Alrubaie said.
“Avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing and only be in public spaces with members of your household or one other person (two-person rule).
“If you are sick, stay away from others and avoid contact with people who are unwell with coughs, colds or flu-like symptoms and also avoid visiting vulnerable people, such as the elderly or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.’’
Dr Alrubaie said this year’s flu vaccine was expected to be available in April.
“We are urging everyone who can be vaccinated to do so. While the flu vaccine won’t combat COVID-19, it will help to reduce the severity and spread of the flu which can lower a person’s immunity and make them susceptible to other illnesses,’’ he said.
For more information and to keep up to date on the coronavirus visit www.health.nsw.gov.au.