The Government Communications Office (GCO) and senior health officials in Qatar have urged people in the country to celebrate Eid al-Fitr by following all Covid-19 precautionary measures in order to curb the spread of the virus.
The GCO posted a video on social media in this regard on Wednesday, advising people to stay safe this Eid al-Fitr.
"When in the mosque, wear a face mask at all times and follow social distancing measures," the advisory said. "Indoor social gatherings continue to be prohibited while a maximum of five fully vaccinated people are allowed to gather outdoors."
Addressing a press conference recently, Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of the National Strategic Group on Covid-19 and head of the Infectious Diseases Division at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), has called on everyone to adhere to the precautionary measures even after receiving the vaccination until most of the country's population gets the vaccine, warning that the implementation of these precautions will be more necessary in the coming days, especially during Eid al-Fitr. He also stressed the need to follow the precautionary measures and avoid visits in line with the restrictions in place.
Through videos messages posted on the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)'s social media pages on Wednesday, the health officials extended Eid greetings and provided tips on how to ensure everyone's safety during Eid.
Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, director of the Public Health Department, MoPH, reminded the public to follow all precautionary measures. "Social distancing should be maintained, wear masks and keep the hands clean. Also, maintain social distancing during the Eid prayer and while wishing each other."
He also reminded the public of the Cabinet decision regarding gatherings at home and majlises as well as in open places. "The National Vaccination Programme is continuing and we hope it will help us return to a normal life," he added.
Dr Hanadi al-Hamad, medical director of Rumailah Hospital, HMC, said: "My advice for this Eid is not to come into contact with the elderly by physically touching (them) and to follow religiously and culturally accepted greetings instead, such as waving or placing the hand on the heart. Also, not to give monetary gifts to children from our elderly parents."
"This year, the celebration of Eid al-Fitr is going to be different from what we are used to. I would like to take this opportunity to call upon all the public in Qatar to be more careful and to stop the activities that we were used to doing before... with the importance of avoiding crowded places, family gatherings, parties and malls during this period for your safety and the safety of others. I wish you all a blessed and safe Eid al-Fitr," said Dr Ahmed Mohamed, acting chairman of HMC’s Intensive Care Units.
Dr Soha al-Bayat, head of Vaccination at the MoPH, said: "I would like to remind you that although we all consider Eid an important social and religious event, which is to be shared with family and friends, this year we must prioritise our safety and the safety of those around us.
"To do your part, we urge you to celebrate Eid with members of your household and to avoid visiting extended family and friends, especially those who are older or suffer from any pre-existing chronic condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease or cancer. It is of utmost importance that you do not engage in any type of gatherings, whether social, religious or charity-related."
Dr Samya al-Abdulla, executive director of Operations at the Primary Health Care Corporation, said: "It is every individual, every family member's responsibility to make sure our loved ones are healthy and safe. Please continue to follow the precautionary measures and remind your family and loved ones to do the same."
"We hope everyone will follow the precautionary measures against Covid-19, wear masks and keep enough distance for your safety and that of other," said Ali al-Khater, chair of the MoPH's Healthcare Communications Committee.
Dr Jameela al-Ajmi, executive director of Infection Control Department at HMC, said: "It is very important to follow precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Remember to wear a mask before you leave your house. Avoid greeting your friends and loved ones with hugs or handshakes and keep a distance of 1.5-2m between you and other people. I would also like to remind you of the importance of avoiding social gatherings, parties and family visits. Such activities can help the virus spread rapidly."
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