Egyptian women check traditional Ramadan lanterns called "fanous" at a shop stall ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Cairo, Egypt, April 8, 2021. (photo: Reuters)
Egypt’s Minister of Religious Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa has affirmed that being administered the coronavirus vaccine by injection does not invalidate fasting during Ramadan or other months, a statement by the cabinet said on Saturday.
Fasting for Muslims involves abstaining from food and drink between sunrise and sunset during the month of Ramadan, which will start on Tuesday.
Because Islamic teaching says fasting Muslims should refrain from ingesting anything during daytime, some Egyptians have expressed concern about taking their vaccination during Ramadan.
“[Vaccinations are] legitimate medical injections that do not nullify the fast and are not considered to break it,” Gomaa said.
Egypt is currently witnessing a significant increase in the daily infections of COVID-19. As of 2 April, more than 700 people have been infected every day, with warnings of a possible rise in infections during the holy month of Ramadan.
On Friday, 794 new coronavirus cases were reported nationwide, bringing the total number of infections to 208,867 cases.
Against the backdrop of the first wave’s peak that Egypt had witnessed shortly after Ramadan last year, health officials have repeatedly warned citizens against family gatherings and other popular rituals during the month to stem the spread of infections.
While a spike in the number of detected cases is expected during April, officials believe the infection rates will decline in May.
More than 2250,000 citizens have been vaccinated so far, almost a month after Egypt started its mass vaccination campaign, Alaa Eid, the head of the health ministry's Preventive Medicine Department, said in TV statements on Friday.
Egypt is looking to double its supply of coronavirus vaccines, which stands at around 1.5 million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm and the British-Swedish Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, to inoculate as many citizens as possible.