South African President and African Union Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa said Friday he hopes Muslims continue charity during the holy month of Ramadan being observed under lockdown in many nations due to the novel coronavirus.
“The crescent moon has risen over our continent, Africa. And the sacred month of Ramadaan has begun. On behalf of the African Union, I wish our Muslim brothers and sisters well during this holy month,” said Ramaphosa.
He urged Muslims to follow regulations put in place by authorities while observing the holy month.
“A number of countries have imposed measures to contain the spread of the virus,” which “means that many of the Ramadan traditions like praying at the mosque, making the Umrah pilgrimage and visiting family and friends are not taking place,” he said.
“If we are to prevail against this pandemic, we have to stand united and observe the provisions that are in place to safeguard our health and the health of others,” he warned.
There are 27,385 confirmed COVID-19 cases on the continent, with 1,297 deaths reported and 8,172 recoveries.
Ramaphosa encouraged Muslims to continue performing charitable acts in the spirit of Ramadan at a time when millions face hunger, destitution and misery.
“As Africans, we will emerge from this hardship with a new consciousness. We will understand, and perhaps as never before, our great duty to help and support those less fortunate than ourselves will be enhanced,” he said.
[Watch] H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa, @AUChair2020, encourages millions of Africans who are commemorating #Ramadan to take courage and strength from the bonds of solidarity that exist between us as Africans as the continent deals with #COVID19 #RamadanMubarak pic.twitter.com/XdS80yBHdP— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) April 24, 2020