UAE Government Warns Against Eid Al-Fitr Celebrations Amid COVID-19 Threat

BY Aisha Rauf / May 17 2020 / 11:00 AM

Residents are being urged to avoid attending or hosting large gatherings and to share a sense of responsibility for everyone's safety

UAE Government Warns Against Eid Al-Fitr Celebrations Amid COVID-19 Threat

Eid Al-Fitr is a time where families come together to celebrate the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. This year, however, the UAE government has urged residents to put others first and to follow social distancing rules to alleviate the spread of COVID-19.

According to Arabian Business official spokesperson of the UAE Government, Dr Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, stated “we understand the importance of socialising and meeting family and friends during Eid, but due to the exceptional circumstances, lets share this sense of responsibility for everyone’s safety.” She goes on to mention the dangers of attending large gatherings.

“Imagine a UAE family deciding to continue their yearly custom of gathering on the first day of Eid or visiting their grandfather’s house to spend their happy occasion with other relatives and meeting brothers, sisters, children and old elderly people with pre-existing conditions," she said. "Imagine that one of the family members is unaware that he or she contracted coronavirus from a contact and showed no symptoms. This person would congratulate his or her grandfather and exchange Eid greetings with the rest of the family members, spend the whole day with them without taking the necessary preventive measures, passing on the infection to the family.

“By the end of the day, each family will go back to their home, without knowing that they are infected now, and may be one of them will decide to cap this with visiting friends and another goes back to work after Eid holidays.” 

Consequently, she warned that the risks of gathering could result in a rise to hundreds, if not eventually thousands, of cases throughout the nation. 

“The condition of people with chronic diseases and the elderly could worsen, just because a few people did not adhere to the social distancing rules and other preventive measures and ignored the most important principles of prevention, maintaining a safe distance and avoiding gatherings,” she added.

The current total number of COVID-19 cases in the UAE are 22,627 and 218 fatalities.

Harper's Bazaar Arabia encourages everyone to stay safe and stay home.

Lead image courtesy of Unsplash/NathanJohn