UAE Government announces increase in capacity for mosques to 50% as of August 3rd

UAE Government announces increase in capacity for mosques to 50% as of August 3rd

ABU DHABI, 22rd July, 2020 (WAM) -- Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention announced that the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi started the third phase of clinical trials on a vaccine to treat Covid-19. Trials will be conducted on 15,000 volunteers, including men and women from different nationalities, noting that the number of volunteers reached about 10,000 people already.

This came during a media briefing held by the UAE Government in Abu Dhabi today, where Al Owais stressed that the health sector in the country adopts a flexible and multi-track strategy in dealing with the pandemic. These measures include the relevant local authorities conducting the largest possible number of medical examinations and providing the necessary treatment and care for patients and the strengthening cooperation with the international community to develop a safe vaccine against the disease.

Al Owais stressed that all clinical trials are subject to country regulations, and the strict international guidelines stipulated by the World Health Organisation to ensure the best safety standards for volunteers.

Al Owais added that a hotline was set up to answer volunteers' questions and provide them with support during the various stages of the trials, in addition to providing mobile clinics to ensure easy access to the volunteers.

Al Owais called on the community members to participate in the trials, stressing that the UAE is an ideal destination for such tests, as it hosts more than 200 nationalities. This great diversity allows those developing the vaccine to conduct more detailed research and contribute to enhancing the viability of the global application of the vaccine pending successful trials.

During the briefing, Dr. Omar Al Hammadi, the official spokesman for the UAE Government, revealed the latest Covid-19 developments and Dr. Saif Al Dhaheri, the official spokesman for the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, announced several developments related to travel protocol, new guidelines around the occasion of Eid al-Adha and prayers in mosques.

At the beginning of his speech, Al-Hammadi stressed that cooperation and adherence to preventive measures by all members of society during the current stage supports national efforts to confront the epidemic and limit its spread.

Al-Hammadi encouraged community members to register and participate in the third stage of clinical trials for a vaccine, indicating that volunteering in the trials supports efforts aimed at developing a safe and effective vaccine that protects society and humanity at large.

Al-Hammadi stressed that the efforts of the first-line defense champions are continuing tirelessly and will include the expansion iof Covid-19 testing, as the number of new daily exams reached 47,014, These tests revealed 236 new cases, all of which are receiving the necessary care in health care institutions. The total number of recorded cases is now 57,734.

Al-Hammadi announced 390 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recoveries in the country to 50,354, while one death was recorded, bringing the death toll to 342. There are 7038 patients currently undergoing medical care and treatment.

Al-Hammadi indicated that the basic rate of reproduction of the virus reflects how quickly the virus spreads, explaining that the latest figure for Covid-19 rate reaches 0.74, less than 1, which reflects the efficiency of the health sector and its ability to reduce the rate of infection and the ability to break the chain of transmission, in addition to the efficiency of the policies and measures taken.

Al-Hammadi noted that with the gradual opening of the country’s economic and tourism sectors, the individual responsibility in combating the spread of the virus has doubled, and noted that those individuals who have been following three important instructions; wearing masks, maintaining the rules of personal hygiene, and following social distancing, have been providing a great service to society and the health sector.

Al Hammadi explained that the principle of physical distancing does not mean social divergence, especially in light of the availability of many advanced means of communication in the world. He noted that the application of social distancing is one of the most important factors which has helped the health sector in the country to slow the speed of the spread of the virus.

Al-Hammadi added that the social and physical distancing gives more time for scientists and experts working in the field of medicine and vaccine trials to find solutions and reduces the burden on the health sector and helps workers in the field to follow up on emergency cases.

Al-Hammadi stressed the need to maintain a distance of not less than two meters, as health and wellness at the present time become directly proportional to the distance of the physical spacing, stressing that in the event of an infected person coughing or sneezing, the infection risk is higher for those in close proximity.

Al-Hammadi pointed out that the low number of cases shows success in breaking the frequency of the spread of the virus, which is achieved through the commitment of all society.

Al-Hammadi stressed the need to proceed with extreme caution around the elderly and those suffering with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart, kidney and cancer, especially since some individuals may carry the virus without symptoms and warning that some cases where members of one family were all infected was due to the transmission from children to parents.

Proceeding from this principle, Al-Hammadi stressed that the individual duty of every person is to protect themselves and their family, even if they appear to be healthy and free from the virus, and warning that the Covid 19 virus is not simple and may be fatal for some people.

With regard to the procedures for opening mosques, Dr. Saif Al Dhahiri revealed that the capacity of mosques will increase to 50%, and that worshippers should still distance (2 meters) and follow all other preventive measures. He also announced that the period between the call to prayer and prayers would be extended to ten minutes, except for Maghrib prayer, which will be 5 minutes. These decisions are effective from 3rd August 2020.

Al Dhaheri stated that after assessing the situation and coordinating with the concerned authorities, it was decided that Eid Al-Adha prayers would be conducted in homes and takbeers broadcast through visual and audio means.

He also announced that The Emirates Council for Sharia Fatwa have recommended that donations and sacrifices should be to official charitable causes in the country only.

Al Dhaheri advised the public to donate during this time to the official charitable bodies in the country with sacrifices and donations, through smart applications concerned with sacrifices or through slaughterhouses outlined by the local authorities that guarantee the application of precautionary and preventive measures and provide remote services without the need to enter livestock markets or slaughterhouses.

Al Dhaheri stressed the need to avoid family visits and gatherings, and replace them using electronic means of communication or phone contact, as well as refraining from distributing Eid gifts and money to children and individuals during this occasion recommending to instead use of electronic alternatives.

Al Dhaheri pointed out that it is necessary to avoid visiting pregnant women, children and those with chronic diseases who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 and not to allow them to leave the home and avoid going out to public places to preserve their health and safety.

Al Dhaheri announced the continuation of the ban on domestic workers meeting with anyone outside the home, and reminded on the necessity of providing them with protective equipment in the event that they need to deal with people from outside the home such as receiving goods, parcels, and others.

Dr. Saif Al Dhaheri announced the necessity of all returning travellers presenting a PCR test result from accredited laboratories, pointing out that these laboratories can be found through the website, which will be published in the official channels.

Al Dhahiri stressed the need for air carriers to ensure that those arriving for their flights have a negative test result and ensuring that the test certificate is issued by recognised centers.