According to an opinion report by Professor Richard Webber of Newcastle University and Trevor Phillips, a former Labor Party politician, religious habits have protected England’s Muslim community from COVID-19.
Large ethnic minority populations are living in areas of England worst affected by the coronavirus. But Muslim communities from such areas have reported fewer cases when compared to other ethnic groups. The authors state that Muslim communities are conspicuous by their absence on the list of areas most affected by COVID-19.
For instance, Tower Hamlets in Central London, a Muslim majority area, has reported fewer cases than the surrounding hotspots. Tower Hamlets has 548 confirmed cases versus 859 cases in neighboring Newham and 1,075 in Southwark.
Maybe there is a revelation to be had here; if one key to stopping transmission of the virus is hand washing, might a faith community many of whose members ritually wash before five-times-a-day prayers have something to teach the rest of us?
Some of the reasons why Muslim communities are relatively safer than other ethnic groups include performing ablution 5 times a day before prayers, just 1 out of 3 Muslim women being employed, and young average age.
Although ethnic minorities account for only 14% population of England, more than 34% of patients admitted to ICUs during the pandemic come from ethnic backgrounds. The authors argue that ethnic minorities have been worst affected by COVID-19 because they live in densely populated areas and are mostly employed in people-facing jobs.
Were poverty the key determinant, we would expect the virus to be running rampant among England’s Muslim communities.
Via: Daily Mail