Covid-19: UAE issues Eid Al Adha protocols to avoid hike in cases during the holidays
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Covid-19: UAE issues Eid Al Adha protocols to avoid hike in cases during the holidays

Covid-19: UAE issues Eid Al Adha protocols to avoid hike in cases during the holidays

Studies conducted by the health sector found a “significant” increase in the number of infections and deaths following the last three holidays

The UAE has issued a new set of guidelines that need to be followed in the country during the Eid Al Adha celebrations next week to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

Eid Al-Adha prayers will be conducted at mosques provided that the maximum period of Khutbah is 15 minutes, while adhering to all previously applicable precautionary measures, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said.

Social distancing markers will be placed on prayer spots in outdoor spaces of mosques, public parking and parks adjacent to mosques.

All worshippers have been urged to bring their own prayer mats.

Individuals living with those infected with Covid-19, or those who are in contact with coronavirus patients are strictly prohibited to attend prayers.

“We also recommend that the elderly, individuals suffering from chronic diseases and children under 12 years avoid going to perform Eid prayer, to keep themselves safe and healthy,” NCEMA added.

The doors of prayer areas and mosques will be opened 15 minutes prior to the start of prayer and will be closed directly after prayer. Service facilities such as washrooms, Wudu places and water dispensers shall continue to be closed.

Mosques and prayer areas on the outer roads and gas stations will also remain closed.

“Kindly avoid all types of gatherings and shaking hands before and after Eid prayers, and limit greeting and congratulations from a safe distance,” the authority stated.

The NCEMA also said that authorities will assess the procedures of slaughterhouses and livestock markets and also inspect them during Eid days and organise traffic to ensure that there is no congestion.

“We recommend that performing Al-Adahi (sacrifices) through delegating the UAE official charities to kill and distribute the meat, or via relevant smart apps. Also, avoid exchanging and distributing meat of Al-Adahi, gifts and foods among neighbours,” the statement added.

Gatherings

The NCEMA urged that gatherings should be limited to families living together and first-degree relatives.

“It is important to take the test and ensure that everyone is healthy before any visit. It is also necessary to abide by wearing masks and maintain a safe physical distance, especially when sitting with the elderly or individuals with chronic diseases,” the authority said.

“We also recommend avoiding shaking hands and hugging and the use of electronic alternatives of communication to distribute Ediya (Eid money).”

Holiday caution

According to studies conducted by the health sector in the last three holidays, it is evident that there is a “significant” increase in the number of infections and deaths after such occasions, said Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman of the Health Sector.

After Eid Al-Adha last year, the average daily ratio of Covid-19 infections amounted to more than 1,400 cases, equivalent to an increase of over 500 per cent, she said.

Post New Year celebrations at the start of 2021, the average daily ratio of cases reached more than 3,700, an increase of over 200 per cent.

Meanwhile after Eid Al-Fitr this year, the average daily infections rose more than 60 per cent to over 2,000 cases, she added.

“We present these statistics to confirm that we have a joint responsibility towards compliance with the precautionary measures, especially during such occasions. This would positively contribute to reducing such ratios,” said Al Hosani.

“Ensure that you are safe by testing before visiting your relatives, especially the elderly,” she added.

The UAE reported 1,522 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 653,284.

It also announced six deaths due to Covid-19 complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 1,876.

The country has administered more than 16 million vaccine doses so far, with a distribution rate of 162.2 doses per 100 people.

While 76 per cent of the population has received one dose, 66.3 per cent is fully vaccinated, NCEMA confirmed on Tuesday.

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