Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran

24th April 2020

The Iran NCD Alliance (INCDA) is committed to protect the population from health threats, and with the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), INCDA has joined the Corona Combat Command Headquarter in Tehran, Iran and has taken several measures.

The first step for this national NCD alliance has been to mobilise all its capacities and membership to take the following actions:

  • In order to reduce transmission, INCDA's members closed their offices and are carrying out their current activities through remote and online means.
  • Different materials, such as posters and educational clips, with evidence-based information were provided by INCDA to inform the general public about COVID-19 and to raise awareness about the importance of the slogan “Stay At Home”.
  • As people living with NCDs are particularly at-risk from COVID-19, INCDA is advocating for the particular needs of people living with NCDs and the increase of constrains to access NCD care.
  • With the support from several charities, INCDA purchased medical supplies including gown, goggles, masks, blankets, disinfectant and special equipment for the hospitals focused on providing care for people with COVID-19.
  • The Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences and INCDA has written a statement regarding fasting for Ramadan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fasting during the COVID-19 pandemic

The statement issued by the Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences and INCDA includes short guidance on how to fast during the pandemic, including recommendations for healthy people under the age of 65. These recommendations include the need to keep social distancing and hygine measures during this time.

The statement highlights that older people and people with underlying conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity who do not feel confident about fasting should seek medical advice or postpone fasting for after the pandemic. It also stresses, how among older people, there is a high rate of undiagnosed NCDs.

For those who have had COVID-19 or are the recovering stage, it has been recommended that they refrain from fasting for at least until 6 weeks after recovery.