UAE public urged to celebrate Eid Al Adha safely after rise in Covid-19 holiday deaths

Authorities have announced safety measures for Eid Al Adha

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The UAE public has been urged to follow Covid-19 safety rules when they mark Eid Al Adha, after health studies revealed an increase in deaths during previous celebrations.

Authorities said the average number of daily deaths related to the disease following gatherings for New Year increased to 16 - a 300 per cent rise.

The death rate doubled from three to six during Eid Al Fitr.

"After Eid Al Fitr this year, the average daily Covid-19 infections reached more than 2,000 cases, equivalent to an increase of more than 60 per cent," Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the health sector, said at a coronavirus briefing on Tuesday.

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Studies by the health sector have shown a noticeable increase in deaths and infections during the holiday season
Dr Farida Al Hosani

The stark statistics prompted a rallying cry from officials for the public to act responsibly during Eid Al Adha, which begins next week.

"We review these statistics with you to confirm that the responsibility today is shared between us, and your commitment to precautionary measures, especially during these occasions, contributes positively to reducing these rates," Dr Al Hosani said.

"It is the responsibility of everyone. We must be socially responsible and show awareness.

"The journey of recovery requires us to continue with this commitment.

"Studies by the health sector have shown a noticeable increase in deaths and infections during the holiday season.

"Responsibility is common between us. We invite everyone to celebrate safely and enjoy all activities of Eid by taking under consideration proper procedures.

"This includes testing before visiting relatives, especially the elderly."

The UAE has tackled the pandemic through a mass testing and vaccination strategy.

Dr Al Hosani said the Emirates continued to lead the way globally in its efforts to immunise the public against the disease.

Coronavirus

The UAE has now administered more than 16 million Covid-19 vaccine doses.

Seventy-six per cent of the population have received at least one dose, while 66.3 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

Dr Al Hosani said the UAE ranked first in the world in a Bloomberg index in terms of the percentage of its population to be vaccinated.

"It is the first globally according to the Bloomberg Flexibility Index in terms of the proportion of people who received the vaccine, and this comes as a culmination of the efforts of the health sector and all concerned parties to provide various types of vaccines to the citizens and residents of the country," Dr Al Hosani said.

Eid Al Adha safety protocols announced

During the briefing, safety measures for Eid Al Adha were announced.

Prayers will be held for no more than 15 minutes at mosques, which will close their doors immediately after they have been performed.

Safety signs will be displayed in the outdoor areas of mosques, while worshippers are advised to bring their own prayer mats.

People are asked to avoid gatherings and refrain from shaking hands at Eid prayers.

They should also maintain a safe distance from the elderly, children under 12 and those with illnesses.

People are advised to exchange electronic holiday greetings and to avoid exchanging gifts and food with neighbours.

Updated: July 14th 2021, 5:32 AM
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