Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many Muslim-majority countries have imposed restrictions on worshippers, including night-time curfews, and called for prayers to be performed at home during the fasting month.

A Palestinian merchant hangs a luminescent star and crescent ornament at the Council Gate leading to the at the Aqsa Mosque compound, in the old city of Jerusalem on April 12, 2021.
A Palestinian merchant hangs a luminescent star and crescent ornament at the Council Gate leading to the at the Aqsa Mosque compound, in the old city of Jerusalem on April 12, 2021. (AFP)

The holy fasting month of Ramadan has begun across several countries and comes as much of the world has been hit by an intense new coronavirus wave.

For many Muslims navigating restrictions, that means hopes of a better Ramadan than last year have been dashed with the surge in infection rates though regulations vary in different countries.

A time for fasting, worship and charity, Ramadan is also when people typically congregate for prayers, gather around festive meals to break their daylong fast, throng cafes and exchange visits.

Once again, some countries are imposing new restrictions. But concern is high that the month's communal rituals could stoke a further surge.

People pray at the Eyup Sultan Mosque, in Istanbul, on April 12, 2021, a day before Ramadan.
People pray at the Eyup Sultan Mosque, in Istanbul, on April 12, 2021, a day before Ramadan. (AP)
A volunteer places prayer mats on floor at a mosque ahead of Ramadan in Karachi on April 12, 2021.
A volunteer places prayer mats on floor at a mosque ahead of Ramadan in Karachi on April 12, 2021. (AFP)
Iranians prepare for Ramadan preparations in difficult conditions due to the economic crisis caused by the US sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic, in Tecris Bazaar in Tehran, on April 12, 2021.
Iranians prepare for Ramadan preparations in difficult conditions due to the economic crisis caused by the US sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic, in Tecris Bazaar in Tehran, on April 12, 2021. (AA)
Syrians install decorations for the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at the Clock Square in Syria's rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib, on April 12, 2021.
Syrians install decorations for the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at the Clock Square in Syria's rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib, on April 12, 2021. (AFP)
People shop at a market in preparation for Ramadan in Beirut, Lebanon, April 12, 2021.
People shop at a market in preparation for Ramadan in Beirut, Lebanon, April 12, 2021. (AP)
Workers disinfect the grounds as Muslim pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, during the minor pilgrimage, known as Umrah, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, April 12, 2021.
Workers disinfect the grounds as Muslim pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, during the minor pilgrimage, known as Umrah, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, April 12, 2021. (AP)
Muslims practice social distancing while reciting the first terawih evening prayer at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque in Putrajaya, Malaysia on April 12, 2021.
Muslims practice social distancing while reciting the first terawih evening prayer at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque in Putrajaya, Malaysia on April 12, 2021. (AFP)
Source: AP