The duo of Professor Richard Webber from Newcastle University and former Labour Party politician Trevor Phillips, writes in the report that Muslims in the UK might be at a lower risk of COVID-19 because of their ‘cultural habits’ of performing Wudhu which requires frequent hand washing.
The report suggest performing Wudhu five times a day which requires frequent hand washing might have saved many Muslims from contracting COVID-19, as washing hands frequently is one of the precautionary measures against coronavirus.
Other reasons such as low employment, especially of Muslim women in UK, also contributes to controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus in areas where there is a higher concentration of Muslims. Data shows that only 29% of British Muslim women are employed, causing them to stay home, & not partaking in transport to areas with higher concentration of cases, hence reducing the risks.
As The News reports, Phillips says areas such as Blackburn, Bradford, Luton, Rochdale and Rotherham are “conspicuous by their absence” on the list of worst-hit places by the coronavirus. These areas have a greater number of Muslims living there.
In an opinion piece written for The Times, Phillips writes,
‘Were poverty the key determinant, we would expect the virus to be running rampant among Britain’s Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslim communities.’
He supports this by giving example of Tower Hamlets, in central London, which is more than a third Muslim and surrounded by coronavirus hotspots but appears cocooned from it. Statistics suggest that only four of the areas with the highest Muslim populations appear on the list of COVID-19 hotspots. These areas are Newham, Birmingham, Brent and Ealing.
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