Turkey’s top religious body said Friday that taking the COVID-19 jab will not break the Ramadan fast.

Ahead of the Muslim holy month, Idris Bozkurt, a top official of the Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), told Anadolu Agency: “There is no nutritious vitamin or food substance in any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Injecting such a thing into the body does not break the fast.”

However, if one wants to exercise caution, they can get the vaccine after iftar (fast-breaking meal) or before sahur (pre-dawn meal), he added.

He encouraged those who get a vaccination appointment during fasting hours to take the jab.

“Vaccination is an important measure to protect health, stay healthy and prevent transmission [of infection]. Therefore, we have to be vaccinated in order to prevent this [disease]. I would like to remind people who have to get this vaccine that fasting is not an obstacle,” Bozkurt added.

He also called upon people to stay away from behaviors that might endanger public health.

“Whatever protective measures are, we have to abide by them,” he said.

In the face of rising cases and fatalities, Turkey on Monday announced the return of weekend curfews in high-risk areas, as well as other restrictions, in addition to special measures for the upcoming month of Ramadan.

Ramadan will start on April 13 and end on May 12 in Turkey.

*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev

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