Avoid exchanging Eid gifts and money to prevent coronavirus spread says UAE government

UAE health minister Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad Al-Owais, said social distancing was the responsibility of all. (FILE/AFP)
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Updated 28 July 2020

Avoid exchanging Eid gifts and money to prevent coronavirus spread says UAE government

  • Government spokesman, Omar Al-Hammadi, said people should use social media, email and telephones for Eid celebrations
  • Hammadi said domestic workers should not meet with people from outside the home

The UAE government has said people should avoid exchanging gifts and money during Eid Al-Adha, while keeping any visits limited to close family to avoid a resurgence of the coronavirus.

Speaking at a press conference in Abu Dhabi, health minister Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad Al-Owais, said social distancing was the responsibility of all.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the UAE stood at 59,177, and 345 people have died.

Government spokesman, Omar Al-Hammadi, said people should use social media, email and telephones for Eid celebrations.

He said the exchanging of gifts and money should be avoided to reduce the chances of infection.

Hammadi said domestic workers should not meet with people from outside the home and use personal protective equipment when handling deliveries.

The number of cases has been steadily declining and the number of recoveries continues to rise, but Hammadi said it was important for everyone to strictly adhere to the preventive measures.

Al-Hammadi said multiple infections were detected among members of families who attended gatherings without maintaining social distancing or wearing a mask.

Handshaking should be avoided, he said, while hosts should provide single-use paper plates and disposable utensils.

Meanwhile, coronavirus tests are now compulsory for all tourism sector staff working in Abu Dhabi, state news agency WAM reported.

The new ruling is part of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism’s recent launch of the “Rediscover Abu Dhabi” campaign aimed at local visitors on staycations.

In other efforts to return to normal, the UAE government announced that it would be allowing the circulation of newspapers, magazines and paper marketing publications to resume.

But the publications will not be available in public places such as cafes but can be distributed to offices where they will be read and used by one person only.


Turkish strikes kill three Kurds in Iraq

Updated 14 min 15 sec ago

Turkish strikes kill three Kurds in Iraq

  • Turkey launched a cross-border operation in mid-June against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels in northern Iraq
  • The men were killed when they stopped outside a grocery store
ERBIL, Iraq: Turkish bombardment killed three Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq, a local official said Friday, as Baghdad seeks to rally support to end Ankara’s offensive on its soil.
Turkey launched a cross-border ground and air operation in mid-June against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels in the mountainous terrain of northern Iraq.
“A Turkish bombardment targeted a car in the village of Rashanki, in Dohuk province, killing three PKK fighters, and injuring a fourth who fled,” said Mushir Bashir, the local mayor, of the bombardment late Thursday.
The men, who were traveling in an off-road vehicle, were killed when they stopped outside a grocery store, he added.
The attack comes as Iraq tries to drum up support from its Arab neighbors to form a united front against Ankara’s offensive.
Turkey defends its right to bomb the PKK, which it considers to be a “terrorist” organization, and accuses Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan of not stopping the group.
Earlier this week, two senior Iraqi officers and their driver were killed in a Turkish drone strike, prompting Iraq to summon the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad for the third time in two months.
On Friday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein contacted his Bahraini and Emirati counterparts, after calling the day before the Egyptian, Jordanian, Saudi and Kuwaiti foreign ministers, as well as Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
Hussein pleaded for “a united position, forcing Turkey to withdraw its forces that have infiltrated Iraqi territory.”
Achieving that is a major challenge, analysts say.
Turkey, a major trading partner of Iraq and a regional heavyweight, has had several military posts in Iraqi Kurdistan for the past 25 years.
Now it is expanding its bases, Kurdish sources say.
The PKK has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984. It has long used the rugged terrain of northern Iraq as a rear base to wage attacks on Turkey, which in turn had set up military positions inside Iraqi territory to fight them.
Since Turkey launched its offensive in mid-June, at least five civilians have been killed.
Ankara says at least seven of its men have been killed, and the PKK and its allies have lost 14 fighters.