As the Ramadan, the month in which many Muslims traditionally fast, is approaching, the Brussels municipality of Molenbeek has adapted its usual Ramadan-measures to the lockdown ones because of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
"Our municipality has a large Muslim community," said Molenbeek Mayor Catherine Moureaux to La Capitale. "Like every year, we are setting up a system to ensure the flow of pedestrians in public spaces, and a specific mobility system in the historic heart of the city," she said, adding that in the context of the health crisis, Molenbeek will "of course" follow the shutdown measures, meaning that congregating in places of worship is not allowed.
Family gatherings will also be limited to family members living under the same roof, and will have to take place there as well. Specific food stores can remain open if they comply with the measures.
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"As there will likely be a larger demand during this period, more attention will be paid to respecting the required social distance," Moureaux added. Markings will be placed on the shop floors and volunteers will be asked to manage the people entering and exiting the shops.
The municipality has been in regular contact with those in charge of the religious services, so they could give their input, and "so they can pass on positive and consistent information to our Muslim citizens," she added.
Community and social workers will also get an adapted work schedule so many of them can be present in public spaces before the fasting starts. "Additionally, the municipality will provide a framework for all solidarity initiatives so that they cannot be a cause of infection," Moureaux added.
A letter detailing all the measures will be sent to the inhabitants, and posters will be put up to remind people of the coronavirus specific Ramadan measures, reports Bruzz.
The Brussels Times