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UAE suspended prayers for four weeks over Coronavirus

March 16, 2020 at 8:12 pm

The UAE health ministry on Monday ordered the temporary suspension of wedding celebrations and other social parties for four weeks as of Wednesday, state news agency WAM said. It also banned prayers at houses of worship including mosques.

The government earlier issued a tweet reassuring people about supplies of goods after a rush on supermarkets.

Dubai, the region’s tourism and business hub, ordered bars and lounges to close until the end of March, according to a government circular issued on Monday.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have closed gyms, public gardens, arcades, and spas as well as stock market trading halls.

While restaurants remain open in the UAE, other Gulf states are now permitting only food delivery. Qatar on Monday banned people from eating at restaurants and cafes, state media said, joining Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in doing so.

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Oman on Monday suspended public Friday Muslim prayers and cancelled all non-urgent surgery in hospitals.

Many of the coronavirus cases in the Gulf are linked to travel with Iran, which has recorded 853 deaths and 14,991 infections. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a new appeal on Monday for people to avoid unnecessary trips.

The UAE sent two planes carrying 32 tonnes of medical supplies, including gloves and surgical masks, to Iran on Monday, the UAE government said in a Twitter post.